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Govt widens ambit of SC/ST welfare fund

26 May 2017 | 1:07 AM

NEW DELHI:In a major move, the AAP government has expanded the ambit of development works that can be taken up by MLAs utilising the SCs and STs corpus in the national Capital.

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25

In a major move, the AAP government has expanded the ambit of development works that can be taken up by MLAs utilising the SCs and STs corpus in the national Capital.

From the existing five activities in the list, MLAs can now take up 27 works, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while noting that the list of items can go up on the requirement of the locals.

The proposal was approved in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday.

Under the previous arrangement, works such as repair or construction of community bathrooms, drains or pavements, unmetalled roads, community centres and approach roads could be undertaken.

With the amendment to the policy following an annual review, henceforth several works related to parks, installation of CCTVs, construction of sports facilities, libraries, gymnasiums, bus stops and queue shelters, installation of street lights, benches in park, construction of libraries, schools, skill development centres, over head water tank, garbage collection among several others, have been included in the list.

“In annual review, we found that funds under the scheme used to remain unutilised and were allowed  for repair and work of only five tasks, but we have increased the number of development works that MLAs can take up. Around Rs 50 crore has been allotted for the same in the current financial year,” said Sisodia addressing reporters here.

Sisodia said the decision will cover around 5,200 blocks where SC/ST population is in majority. The fund can be used by MLAs in the areas where the SC/ST population is over 33 per cent.

Rajendra Pal Gautam, who has recently taken the charge of the SC/ST and Social Welfare Departments, said the government has decided to tweak the way the fund can be used and with this the SC/ST fund can be used for works related to parks, streetlights in local area, CCTVs installation,

Only the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) or the Flood Control and Irrigation Departments could take up work using the welfare fund, which is around Rs 50 crore in the current financial year.

This, he said, was giving rise to situations where the municipal corporations were objecting when a road under its jurisdiction was to be repaired citing the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

“After the changes, if a road that is to be repaired is owned by the MCD, then the area MLA can approach it and the civic body can use the welfare fund to get the work done on its own,” Gautam said.

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