Saturday, February 18, 2017

In Uttarakhand, work on over 1,200 projects yet to start years after announcement, reveals RTI reply

Times of India‎‎: Dehradun: Saturday, February 18, 2017.
Politicians and lawmakers are known to announce development projects at the drop a hat. Scores of them were also announced during the recently-concluded Uttarakhand elections. However, the fate of these ventures could be gauged from the fact that the work on as many as 1,224 projects is yet to kick-start, although several of them were announced way back in 2011.
According to an RTI reply, out of the total 8,786 projects sanctioned by Lok Sabha MPs in the hill state, work on 967 is yet to start, while 1,148 are in progress. Similarly, out of the total 2,732 projects sanctioned by Rajya Sabha MPs, work on 257 has not started so far. Some of the projects were approved in financial year 2011-12.
Several projects, started in 2009-10, are still lying incomplete.
Nadeemuddin, the RTI activist from Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district, said: “The data and information provided by the government indicate tardy implementation of the projects meant for development of the state through its elected representatives.”
Out of the total sanctioned 11,518 projects, 8,832 have been completed till December 2016 while work on 1,456 is still on, the RTI reply revealed.
The reply also reveals that more than Rs 42 crore of MP funds of the state are still lying unused. The unused money belongs to the MP fund of many incumbent as well as former members of Parliament of both the Houses.
Works sanctioned under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) ranges from construction of roads to grants for building toilets, low-cost houses and schools as well as providing running water and electricity facilities.
Earlier, this month, an RTI query pertaining to work done by MLAs in their areas had revealed that as many as 39 of the 70 legislators have not sanctioned a single project related to reserved category voters. Only 26 MLAs have sanctioned projects from their MLA funds benefiting the reserved category voters in the duration of the financial year 2012-2016. Of these, five lawmakers have sanctioned more than 100 projects.