A day after the Hindustan Times highlighted how the municipal corporation (MC) wasted nearly Rs. 1 crore in the past nine years on study tours with no tangible results, the proposed study tour in the last week of March has come under fire.
Most of the councillors are calling it waste of time and money. According to them, when the entire city is reeling under the problem of water shortage, sanitation, bad conditions of roads and parks, then why to waste such a huge amount on the study tour.
The MC plans to spend around Rs. 15 lakh on the study tour of 20 councillors and five accompanying officers to various cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the last week of March. The councillors will learn about the "working of civic bodied in southern India".
They further said the MC mooted the proposal without studying the reasons behind it. They alleged the mayor was following the old tradition without checking the results of the earlier tours.
BJP councillor Satinder Singh said, "I am not in favour of such study tours at the cost of residents being deprived of basic amenities. At present, most of the departments of the civic body have failed to perform their duties and instead of study tours, the authorities should focus on bringing coordination among departments for the betterment of residents."
"Residents of most of the sectors are facing acute water shortage, sanitation and other problems. The MC should spend the said amount on providing basic amenities to residents and the tour should be cancelled," he said.
"If they really want to organise a study tour, they should visit villages and colonies of the city whose residents are demanding basic amenities from the past several years. I feel that the study tour is total wastage of money. We should rather listen to the problems of residents and try to sort them out," BSP councillor Jannat Jahan UL Haq alleged.
Former Mayor and Congress councillor Raj Bala Malik said, "If we see the past record of study tours, we found no tangible results. Even no reports have of the study tours been prepared in the past nine years. If the MC really wants to organise a study tour then they should first study the grey areas of their own civic body and then study the civic bodies of other cities, which we have never done it in the past."
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, "I am not in favour of such study tours, but I feel when the civic body is receiving invitation from various civic bodies to attend conferences, but we never attend it. Instead of study tours, four to five councillors should attend conferences or seminars, rather than 20 councillors going together for leisure and pleasure."
HT had highlighted how in the past nine years the civic body has spent around Rs. 1 crore on study tours. Also, some of the projects launched by the MC after these tours have proved to be damp squibs. In all cases, not even reports on the benefits likely to accrue from the entire exercise were submitted.