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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Lack of fund, contractor hit Patiala's development

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 14, 2013
First Published: 21:58 IST(14/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:00 IST(14/11/2013)

After contractors showing least interest in applying for tenders of Patiala Municipal Corporation (PMC), shortage of funds with the civic bodies act as a roadblock in carrying out development work across the city storing more problems for city dwellers.

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Sources said the civic body authorities had sent an estimated proposal of Rs. 29 crore to state government for carrying out different developmental projects. Out of which, MC has received Rs. 14 crore in the first instalment one and half years ago. Due to apathy of the civic body authorities, the fund remain unused and, thus, MC is yet to get the rest Rs. 15 crore from the government.

Development works under MC jurisdiction has been already affected, as despite floating tenders for different projects, limited contractors have applied due to increased prices of building material.

One of the senior MC officials said inability of civic body to make use of Rs. 14 crore in the past one and half year, has refrained the state government to provide another instalment for developmental works in Patiala.

"With much delay in using the earlier grant, the state government has now asked us to provide utilisation certificate in order to get more funds,"an official said.

"The government will not provide funds until the fund utilisation certificates are provided to state government. Moreover, with hardly any contractor, it will not be easy to carry out developmental works,"an official added.

Sources said delay of authorities in sending design and other technicalities to the department concerned and failure of deal between MC and contractors over the building material prices, had delayed the use of funds.

In a recent review meeting, taking serious note of fund crunch, MC commissioner Parminder Singh Gill emphasised on possible revenue generations sources and schemes available with civic body.

Mayor Amarinder Bajaj said, "After utilisation of these funds, the government will provide another instalment of Rs. 15 crore."

"We are managing our daily expenditures and monthly salaries on our own as presently we have property tax and arrears of house tax as sources of income. We are trying to get more funds so that development does not get affected,"Bajaj said.

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