Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MC funds misused, allege Cong councillors

The Tribune: Jalandhar: Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
Just as the Municipal Corporation (MC) elections are around the corner, Congress councillors have begun taking on the BJP-led House over the issue of plot regularisation scheme of the Local Bodies Department.
A collection to the tune of Rs 68.63 crore meant for the regularisation of plots and colonies taken from residents and colonisers for improving the civic facilities has allegedly been diverted towards other schemes of different departments.
According to the guidelines under the regularisation scheme, the funds, thus collected, had to be used for only the unauthorised colonies. The Congress councillors are claiming that the MC authorities had committed a grave violation and that they would take up the issue with the beneficiaries.
As per information procured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the MC had received Rs 68.63 crore, of which Rs 1 crore had been spent on the payment to the PUDA office, Chandigarh, Rs 4.48 crore to the Directorate Town Planner, Rs 1 crore to Municipal Bhawan, Chandigarh, Rs 6.64 crore for Railways underbridge in Chandan Nagar, Rs 1.33 crore on the refund of the regularisation funds, Rs 50 lakh on the tipping fee for the solid waste management project and Rs 49.50 crore towards other development works, including development of green belts, repair of parks, tubewell motors and some maintenance works. Even the payment of income tax and sales tax of contractors had been made from the regularisation funds.
“Even as we had asked for information regarding the expenditure of funds from the MC in the last budget meeting held on March 31, the authorities failed to provide any data and asked for some time. It is now through the RTI Act that I have received the information,” said councillor Balraj Thakur. He added, “We will also seek an answer from the state government on how could a fund meant for the regularisation of plots and colonies be spent on other works.”
Regarding the allegation of the misuse of the funds by the MC, Mayor Sunil Jyoti said, “The allegation has been already answered in the Vidhan Sabha and I do not need to respond again.”