Cash-strapped MC to sell prime land
Reeling under an acute shortage of funds, the local civic body is all set to sell its land to tide over financial crisis. Several projects, including water purification and laying new sewerage and drainage systems, are hanging fire due to the fund crunch.punjab Updated: Jul 20, 2012 00:03 IST
Reeling under an acute shortage of funds, the local civic body is all set to sell its land to tide over its financial crisis.
Sources said the civic body had completely run out of money putting the brakes on the ongoing developmental works in the region. The authorities have now decided to put on auction one of its prime lands situated right in the middle of the city.
"We are excepting to generate around Rs 40 crore revenue from this sale. We will shift the fire brigade office built on this land to our new building. Hopefully, the auction will take place next month," said Iqbaljit Singh, president of the civic body.
He said the government had given its nod to sell the property before the last assembly elections. "But owing to some legal constraints, we had to postpone the auction."
The civic body has not paid several contractors who were allotted tenders to lay sewerage and build roads. Many contractors moved the Punjab and Haryana High court to fetch their dues from the civic body.
"Despite several requests, the authorities failed to pay our dues. We were left with no option, but to go to the court," said one of the contractors.
Forget contractors, the civic body has not paid the salaries of several of its employees for a couple of months now. Iqbaljit admitted that the financial health of the civic body had worsened in the last one year.
He said in the absence of any concrete sources of income, it had become extremely difficult to generate money. "We do get some revenue from house, water, sewerage and other value-added taxes. But it is just not enough to pay our employees and carry out development works as well," he said.
Due to the fund shortage, several projects, including water purification and laying new sewerage and drainage systems, are hanging fire.