The cash-strapped Panchkula Municipal Corporation is not concerned about gathering resources to carry out developmental works in the district. Or is it?
The civic body has neither received Rs 9 crore owed to it by a bank, nor has it bothered to collect the rent from leased out shops for the past six years.
Fifty-six villages were merged with the municipal corporation in 2010. The panchayat development funds meant for development of those villages was deposited in various bank accounts, and was subsequently transferred to the civic body.
Only the Punjab National Bank (PNB), however, has yet to transfer the money. PNB has been withholding Rs 9 crore.
The councillors of the rural areas have been complaining that development works were not being carried out in their villages.
Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta demanded that the money be recovered at the earliest and development works in the rural areas be started.
MC commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda said the civic body authorities took up the issue with the bank in March, and failing to get a positive response, wrote to bank warning them of action if the money was not transferred.
The municipal corporation also owns around 40 shops in Kalka. The rent for each shop is Rs 500. The civic body, however, has not collected the rent since 2010, despite the traders willing to pay.
There is also no official deputed at the Kalka local body office for collection of dues.
Senior deputy mayor Sangat Singh Nanda told HT he took up the issue with the authorities on a number of occasions, “but in vain”.
Nanda said the official responsible for collecting the dues was transferred to Panchkula MC for a period of one week around two years ago, but was never repatriated.
“The lax attitude of the MC is evident from the fact that people are willing to pay, but the civic body seems little interested,” said Nanda.
The traders said they have not been able to secure no objection certificates due to not payment of dues.