Penny wise, pound foolish - is that what our municipal corporation is? Over a period of eight years, the councillors spent nearly Rs 90 lakh on study tours, but these remained pleasure trips alone as they failed to yield any results.
Undertaken with the objective of improving the civic conditions of the city, multiple trips made by councillors to Singapore and Bangkok besides various cities of the country proved to be a futile exercise and a wasted expenditure.
Interestingly, over the past eight years, no report of study tours was ever prepared.
This issue is expected to rock the House in its monthly meeting of the MC scheduled for September 28, after a BJP councillor sought specific details about the study tours.
In its reply the MC stated that in 2004, 20 councillors went to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Goa in two groups and spent nearly Rs 8 lakh, but no report was ever filed. In 2007, 16 councillors went to Singapore and Bangkok and spent Rs 16 lakh, but again the visit yielded no results.
In 2009, 15 councillors went to Gujarat at an expense of nearly Rs 6 lakh, but till date no report has been filed. In 2010, 28 councillors went to Chennai, Puducherry, Calcutta, Gangtok and Kerala in different groups, which cost the MC nearly Rs 33 lakh, but no report has been filed. Similarly, in 2011, 24 councillors went to Bangalore and Coimbatore and the expense involved was Rs 30 lakh, but there has been no learning from the trip as the body has no report.
SAD-BJP councillor Malkiat Singh said the party would raise the issue in the house when it meets on September 28. "The councillors went to study the projects of sanitation, water supply, licencing of rehri phari, roads and functioning of various wings of the civic body.
Unfortunately, they failed to submit any report and the condition of the city has gone from bad to worse. What's the point in spending such huge public money on study tours," he questions.