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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Corporators demand hike in funds again

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 25, 2013
First Published: 00:49 IST(25/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(25/1/2013)

Just weeks before the civic budget for 2013-14 is announced, corporators have raised the demand for tweaking their corporators funds according to the needs of the ward. Corporators across party lines have demanded that the funds be distributed based on the extent of slum pockets in the ward.

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In the same breath, corporators demanded the right to use their funds on private properties. Currently, they can use their funds only on public properties and slums. The issue will be discussed in the civic body soon.

Each corporator gets Rs60 lakh towards their fund, which they use at their discretion, while another Rs. 40 lakh is distributed through the ward committee. This is in addition to the funds the ward gets directly from the civic body. Just last year, corporators had got their funds raised by an additional Rs65 lakh.

Moving the notice of motion on Wednesday, NCP corporator from Ghatkopar, Pratiksha Ghuge said that there are wards where the majority population lives in slums, where more funds are needed, while others comprise mostly private properties.  “Each of the 227 wards has different dynamics and hence, funds need to be disbursed according to the needs of the population.”

Backing the demand, Congress’ Asif Zakaria said: “The funds are often very inadequate because the ward has a lot of scope for work in slums. Hence, such wards deserve special attention.”

A senior official from the finance department said that there was not much the civic body could do to ensure funds are distributed according to need. “We generally distribute funds according to the slum and non-slum population of a ward. However, once funds are allotted to a ward, they are divided equally among corporators in the ward committee. Hence, unless wards take more care, there is little we can do.”


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