Directed to pay Rs 22 lakh for scrapping an under-construction day market project at Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran, the ruling Congress councillors have taken a U-turn on the project.
Now, the councillors have decided to bring the agenda in the house meeting regarding the revival of the project. The BJP has termed the move as mockery of the system.
In August 2012, all Congress and nominated councillors scrapped the project, following which the additional examiner (local fund accounts), UT administration, asked the MC commissioner to disclose the names of councillors who supported the agenda of scrapping the project so that Rs 22 lakh could be recovered from them.
The MC had approved the project in March 2011 and the work was allotted in April 2012. One-third of the work was completed when the project was scrapped. The issue rocked the House in the meeting on August 29 when the Congress questioned that as the booth allotment was under the purview of the UT administration, how the MC was constructing booths in Mauli Jagran without having any allotment policy for it.
With the help of nominated councillors, the ruling Congress councillors voted to scrap the project.
Councillors of the BJP-SAD alliance and BSP and Independents had strongly opposed the agenda. They raised the question on the working of the civic body, which forced the Congress to cancel their approved project.
They alleged that the Congress only approved the project in 2009 and its construction also commenced in 2012 after the approval of the chief architect of the UT. Then what forced the Congress to cancel the same, they questioned.
The project amounting to Rs 86.44 lakh was approved in the house meeting in February 2011 and even tenders were called twice and finally the work was allotted to BS Builders in April 2012 with a time limit of 12 months from the date of issuance of the allotment letter. An amount of Rs 25 lakh was already spent on the project.
MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said: "I have already ordered for bringing the agenda in the house meeting and I hope it will be presented in the coming house meeting and the decision is up to the house," he added.
BJP councillor Arun Sood said: "When the agenda was brought to the house, we strongly opposed it being undemocratic and illegal. We also said the audit will object to it and who will be responsible for the expenditure already done. But nobody heeded to our arguments. We feel it is mockery of the democratic system and we feel the Congress is responsible for everything," he said.
In the letter, the examiner had asked the commissioner that as per Section 416 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, money should be recovered from the said councillors as they are responsible for the wasteful expenditure and was causing a heavy loss to the civic body.