If the coffers of Delhi's municipal councillors are anything to go by, then it seems development is the last thing on their minds.
Municipal councillors get Rs 50 lakh each per year to spend in their wards. But it has come to light that 65 councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have not spent a single rupee on carrying out any developmental work in their areas. The funds will get lapsed by March-end.
The capital continues to be plagued by potholed roads, garbage strewn on the streets and poorly lit streetlights. The councillor funds come under the non-planned head, which means that their source is the revenue made by the civic body, collection of toll tax and property tax from the public - your money.
But the councillors have their excuses ready. "We got the funds allocated only by May-end and we are now in the process of getting the estimates for development work. The money is also so meagre, one can't really get anything done in Rs 50 lakh," said Jai Kishan Sharma, MCD leader of opposition.
The councillors of the ruling BJP are the worst when it comes to spending money. A total of 41 councillors, out of the 65 mentioned, have not bothered to spend their councillor funds, followed by 20 Congress councillors.
"Yes, I have not been able to spend the funds because for four months the junior engineer of my ward was not available. Now that he is there, I will get the estimates prepared and will try to get all the work done," said Mudita Gupta, a BJP councillor. Areas such as Malviya Nagar, Hauz Rani and Khirki Extension fall under her jurisdiction.
Councillor fund is given to all the 272 councillors that can be used to get a number of works done including repairing faulty drainage systems, construction of new streets, walkways and footpaths among others.