With an eye on Punjab assembly polls early next year, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led state government had disbursed funds in May among civic bodies for completion of development works well before the election to garner public goodwill, but the development is nowhere to be seen in Moga as the municipal corporation (MC) failed to utilise funds so far.
In a distribution of funds by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) under the Urban Mission, the MC received a lion share of Rs 20 crore to finish development works in the city, which were expected to be completed before August. The PIDB funds were in addition to civic body’s municipal funds of Rs 16 crore.
The MC has proposed as many as 278 development works including 162 works with PIDB grant and 116 with municipal funds of which mere nine works have been completed while only 13 works are underway at the cost of Rs 30 lakh. Whereas, remaining 256 works mostly pertaining to laying roads, sewerage, drains, installation of street lights and water supply of Rs 35.70 crore are yet to be started.
However, tenders had been invited to accomplish the works but following the suspicion of pooling between contractors that were cancelled by the civic authorities during the finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting on June 10.
After cancelling about 150 tenders, mayor Akshit Jain had announced to discuss the matter during house meeting within 15 days but in a sheer apathy no meeting was called even after the passing of two months.
Annoyed over the laxity of civic authorities, four BJP councillors led by Gurpreet Singh Sachdeva had held a meeting to oppose their own SAD-BJP alliance councillors. “We would be forced to start agitation against you soon if failed to start development works in the city,” said, Sachdeva, in a warning to mayor, senior deputy mayor Anil Bansal, deputy mayor Jarnail Singh and F&CC member Vinay Sharma.
Sources said that factionalism within the SAD and BJP councillors and MC sans commissioner of which charge has been given to the deputy commissioner Kuldeep Singh Vaid are the major reason for the improper functioning of the civic body.
Due to ongoing monsoon season and the suspected pooling between councillors, Jain said, they had to cancel the tenders, which resulted in delay in infrastructural works.
Meanwhile, the house meeting will be held on Wednesday while F&CC meeting has been called on Thursday.