Even as the municipal corporation house approved enhancement of ward development fund of elected councillors from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore per year, the track record of councilors in spending these fund doesn't offer much to tom-tom about.
As per information acquired through RTI Act, most of the councillors in the last civic body failed to spend the allocated Rs 40 lakh in the last year of their tenure.
Resident welfare associations, too, don't reflect much faith in councillors. They allege that most of these councillors start spending the amount in the last five months of their tenure.
In the previous civic body, six councillors failed to exhaust their funds. These six included Congress councillor Anu Chatrath (ward number 2) who spent only Rs 24.44 lakh, Congress' Manjeet Singh Chauhan (ward number 11) spent Rs 38.91 lakh, Akali councilor Harjinder Kaur (ward no 15) spent Rs 33.46 lakh and BJP councillor Rajesh Kumar (ward no 16) spent only Rs 21.82 lakh.
Baljinder Singh, president, resident welfare association, Sector 21, said if the area councillor cannot spend Rs 40 lakh per year on development, what would they do with Rs 1 crore? "Even though they have funds, most of the wards suffer neglect. How much can you do in the last few months of tenure," he asked.
BJP councillor Rajesh Kumar Gupta, who was a member of the previous term, said that funds were not utilised due to the anti development policies of Congress. Many works were stalled due to the election code of conduct.
Moreover, the Congress-led municipal corporation did not complete the development works in time. "We are willing to develop the city, for which we need suitable funds. This time we will ensure equal participation of concerned officials and the committee members so that development works are completed in time," he said.
Former Mayor and BJP-SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur, who has been a part of the MC for 15 years, said most of the funds remained unutilised due to lazy attitude of ruling party towards the opposition.