Commuting in Delhi will continue to be a bumpy — and sometimes dangerous —experience for residents of the Capital because funds meant to repair and build new roads have largely remained unused by municipal councillors.
Close to 80% of the 272 members of the Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) have not used the Rs 50 lakh allocated to each of them to get roads repaired and constructed.
A total of around Rs 109 crore of taxpayers’ money meant for improving roads will go unused as no work can be undertaken once the model code of conduct is in place for the municipal elections after the notification is issued in January 2012. The MCD polls are to be held in April 2012.
Officials of the MCD — which manages a 30,000-km road network— said it takes at least four months for a work order to be issued as the process includes calling for tenders.
“The councillors have time only till December to book the amount and call for work orders. Once the election notification is issued, we will not be able to process any project,” said a senior MCD official.
Councillors belonging to both the BJP — which has a majority in the civic body — and the Congress have failed to utilise funds for improving roads. “We had created a special fund for roads as councillors had been demanding this for quite some time. But they themselves have not been able to use the money. We have called for a meeting to discuss the matter,” said Yogender Chandolia, chairman of MCD’s standing committee.
The chairman of the MCD’s works committee, Jagdish Mamgain, claimed, “Councillors and executive members of the MCD are still not clear where the additional funds that have been earmarked can be utilised. This has led to many of them not being able to use the money.”