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Posted at: Nov 21, 2019, 7:20 AM; last updated: Nov 21, 2019, 7:20 AM (IST)

UT village funds being diverted, works hit

Civic body using major part of Rs 25-crore development fund on salaries, other purposes
UT village funds being diverted, works hit
A road in bad shape at Hallo Majra village in Chandigarh on Wednesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO

Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 20

While UT villages are crying for development, the Municipal Corporation is reportedly using money from Rs the 25-crore village development fund on salaries and other works.

Sources said of the Rs 25 crore, only about Rs 5 crore was being spent on the development of villages, while the remaining amount was being used to meet other expenses of the MC.

“Bill amounts ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 60 lakh pertaining to sewerage, drainage and water supply works, which were carried out by contractors in villages, are lying pending for a long time as the MC is spending the village funds elsewhere,” said a well-placed source.

The funds were allocated for nine villages by the Administration. Poor water supply, sewerage, storm water drainage, road and street lights are among the main problems in these villages.

“It is total mismanagement by the MC. The present elected body is running the corporation like a shop. How can they spend capital head funds on other heads? From tubewells to sewerage to electricity, villages have a lot of issues. The civic body should start working seriously,” said councillor Satish Kainth.

Senior Deputy Mayor and councillor Hardeep Singh said, “Barring Badheri and Butrela villages, development works have not been started in other villages. Work on a water pipeline at Kajheri and on sewerage at Burail has been stopped midway by contractors. There is no monitoring or check on the contractors.”

Gurpreet Singh, a former sarpanch in Daria village, said, “No works are being done in villages. The old system of panchayat was better as we could get small works under Rs 5,000 done at the panchayat level only. Now, even for small issues like potholes, we have to make several requests to corporation officials and then too our work is not done.”

Councillor and former Mayor Davesh Moudgil said, “Similar was the case with the Rs 50-crore road work fund sanctioned during my tenure as Mayor last year. I sought details from officers to know where the money had been spent, but till today, they have failed to give a reply to me. It needs to be ascertained which fund is being spent where?” An officer clarified that since all dedicated funds were in a single account, these were often diverted and adjusted at the last moment.

Asked about the funds, MC chief accounts officer Virender Thakur refused to share the details. 

MC Chief Engineer Shailender Singh said, “It is not in my knowledge that the village development fund is being used in other areas. We are not stopping development works or bills of contractors.”

MC fails to form committee for new villages

The MC got 13 villages from the UT Administration sans any funds for these. However, UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore had asked the MC to form a committee to decide on the works to be undertaken and the funds required. However, the corporation failed to submit any such report even though Mayor Rajesh Kalia earlier wrote to the Administration to grant Rs 60 crore for development of all 22 villages.

22 UT villages

While nine villages — Butrela, Badheri, Attawa, Palsora, Maloya, Dadu Majra, Burail, Kajheri and Hallo Majra — were already under the MC limits, 13 villages were merged in 2018. The panchayat system in Chandigarh came to an end on December 1, 2018. The other villages are Kishangarh, Mauli Jagran, Daria, Raipur Kalan, Makhan Majra, Behlana, Raipur Khurd, Dhanas, Sarangpur, Khuda Alisher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Kaimbwala. The move was aimed at bringing uniformity in the development and governance of the villages. The Administration had received about 600 objections and suggestions on the draft notification issued for the merger.


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