While the municipal corporation (MC) has to delay several projects due to lack of funds, its more than Rs 51 lakh are lying pending with allottees of shops on rent in different areas of the city.
The temporary structures near Lakkar Bridge that have not paid rent for over five years, in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Maximum amount is lying pending with rented shops of Ghati Valmiki in Zone A area where the officials of MC allegedly fear taking action due to political pressure.
At least 32 shops in the area that were constructed in 1975 and later allotted by MC stopped paying rent after 1990. As per official figures, at least Rs 1.5 lakh is pending from each of the 32 shops in the area.
Other areas where shops have been rented out include area near Rekhi Cinema, Kitaab Bazaar, Gulati market, among others. If recovered, the amount can help fill the empty coffers of the MC and can be utilised for different developmental works in the city.
Besides, a monthly rent of Rs 45 is also due for over five years from around 30 temporary structures erected on the footpath opposite the railway station. Many of these temporary structures have been further rented out, in violation of MC norms.
Rajeev Bhardwaj, superintendent of tehbazari wing of Zone A, said in 1987, the state government had enhanced the rent of the shops that were allotted by the MC. “An enhancement of 20% was done at the time. But allottees of many shops refrained from giving rent to the MC since 1990, causing huge financial losses to the civic body,” Bhardwaj added.
Devinder Singh, commissioner of Zone A, said original rent of these shops was very low that was enhanced through a notification of the state government.
“Allottees of shops at Ghati Valmiki say that they would give the rent on old rate. This needs to be discussed with the MC commissioner and only after that a decision would be taken,” Singh said.