CAG audit finds serious lapses by urban local bodies

  • Bhawani Negi, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Jan 04, 2015 19:00 IST

In its report of an audit of urban local bodies in the state for fiscal 2012-13 released recently, the Comptroller & Auditor General of India has pointed out deficiencies in various civic bodies.

Among them are the Shimla municipal corporation, the sole municipal corporation in the state, that failed to recover rentals amounting to Rs 32.84 lakh from shops, stalls and lands leased to private individuals. It was noticed 852 shops and stalls were leased prior to FY2009-10 and rentals totaling Rs 32.84 for 2019-13 remained unrecovered as of March 2013.

The failure to utilize Rs 12.33 crore funds under the National Urban Renewal Mission scheme for rejuvenation of sewerage networking in missing lines and left out/worn out sewerages in various zones of Shimla led to blocking of funds.

It was also noticed that the work for execution had not been taken up for execution as of March 2013, resulting in blocking of Rs 12.33 crore funds for three years. Besides, the problem of worn out sewerage networks remained unresolved, resulting in unhygienic conditions in the city.

The report further states the Shimla MC had failed to pay water bills to the irrigation & public health department as of March 2012. It was also seen that the department was supplying water at the rate of Rs 14.20 per kiloliter whereas domestic consumers were being charged Rs 7.50/kilolitre, resulting in liabilities of Rs 112.66 crore.

To defray contingent expenses, temporary, contingent advances are paid by the Shimla MC to its various departments from time to time. However, it was noticed that at the end of March 2012 contingent advances of Rs 24.52 crore were pending for adjustment.

The civic body had incurred an expenditure of Rs 25.60 lakh on construction of car parking's near the community centre in Kaithu and Aggarwal Dharamsala Longwood in August 2006 and June 2011, respectively, without planning resulting in idle investment.

According to the CAG report, the Baddi municipal council failed to impose house tax, thus depriving it of revenues that could have been utilized on multifarious development activities.There were as many as 2,553 households in Baddi. The council also failed to impose sanitary taxes amounting to Rs 20.67 lakh and failed to recover electricity tax amounting to Rs 54.23 lakh.

Furthermore, the report pointed out seven urban local bodies (three municipal councils and four 'nagar panchyats') did not realize installation/renewal charges on mobile towers by, resulting in losses of Rs 47.05 lakh as of March 2011 in respect to 83 towers that were installed in their jurisdiction during 2004-12. |

These urban local bodies also failed to realize rent of shops from allottees amounting to Rs 1.92 crores that was pending as on March 2011. According to the profile of urban local bodies, there is one municipal corporation, 25 municipal councils and 23 'nagar panchyats' in the state.

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