Elected representatives in the civic body, who are unhappy with municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar's decision to slash the Rs1 crore per annum funding provided to them for the development of their respective wards, also known as the development fund, are trying hard to get the fund back.
On Tuesday, a few corporators held a meeting in mayor Shraddha Jadhav's office in a last-ditch attempt to get the fund, called ward development fund, back. They tried to convince the administration but so far the latter has not yielded to the pressure.
Hindustan Times had first reported on January 30 that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to scrap the development fund in order to save money and to bring in much-needed financial discipline.
When the corporators opposed the move, Kumar increased their personal development fund from Rs35 lakh to Rs60 lakh.
But with the civic elections scheduled in 2012, the decision to scrap the development fund has not gone down too well with elected representatives.
Shiv Sena leader in the BMC, Sunil Prabhu, who attended the meeting on Tuesday said, “The administration will make available a fund for concrete work but it is not keen on allotting the development fund to all 227 corporators.”
“The ruling party has no guts to make a Rs227 crore provision in the 2011-12 budget. If we [Congress] would have been in the ruling [party], we would have done it,” said Rajhans Singh, Congress corporator and opposition leader in the BMC.
“Politicians are not interested in doing developmental work in the ward. The fund is used to spend on organising party functions. However, the administration’s decision will not affect development projects at the ward level,” said a senior official requesting anonymity.
BMC officials said that Kumar is of the view that a need-based assessment will be conducted in each ward and funds will be allotted accordingly.