Ignoring queries and objections by Congress councillors, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation on Thursday passed a budget of Rs 239.65 crore.
Congress councillors said the MC had earmarked only 34% of the total budget for the development of the city, which was an ‘injustice’ to residents of areas lacking civic amenities. The councillors alleged that though the MC proposed to raise Rs 25 crore from the sale of properties, it had failed to identify these at the MC House meeting.
Congress councillors said even the previous budget’s allocation had got curtailed. Ranjan Aggarwal, a Congress councillor, said, “We were shocked to hear in the House that instead of Rs 218.07 crore, details were read out for works conducted as per a budget of Rs 180 crore. We raised our voices against the unwarranted proposals, which were passed without paying heed to our objections,” he said.
He stated that on being questioned, the MC authorities said the Punjab government had modified the amount proposed for the previous budget. “If the government can alter the earlier budget, there are chances that it could modify the one passed today as well,” Aggarwal said. He also accused the
MC of failing to provide proper civic amenities to backward areas in the city.
“There are frequent reports of outbreak of diarrhoea, jaundice and other ailments in various localities and residents holding protests against the MC’s nonchalance,” he claimed.
Municipal commissioner Dharampal Gupta said the budget had been outlined keeping in view the overall development of the city. “We are doing our best to develop the city. We have also prepared a list of properties that are likely to be sold to generate finances,” he said.
Shiromani Akali Dal and Independent councillors also accused MC officials of being lax in executing their duties and checking corruption. These councillors alleged that there were several anomalies in the way various files were cleared. They also demanded the transfers of officials who have been in Amritsar for the past several years.