With the municipal corporation (MC) ‘diverting’ funds worth Rs 3.21 crore, which were deposited by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for carrying out developmental works in four colonies, has once again put a question mark on the financial condition of the MC.
The LIT had handed over Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, Bharat Nagar Extension, Rajguru Nagar and Sant Isher Singh Nagar to the MC in 2013 followed by a cheque of Rs 3.21 crore for the developmental works. However, the process was stalled due to the political interference and these colonies were transferred back to the LIT in January last year.
Colonies again came under the LIT, but the civic body did not return Rs 3.21 crore that was given by the LIT to carry out developmental works in these colonies. Reeling under financial crunch, the MC has now decided to ‘divert’ that fund for construction of the Lakkar Bridge.
In 2013, the LIT had requested the MC to open a separate bank account for this amount and submit utilisation certificate after completion of pending development works. While on the other hand, residents of these colonies are awaiting better facilities in their respective areas.
The matter of usage of this fund was recently raised during a meeting of the District Ludhiana West Sub-Division Grievances Redressal Committee by its member Satish Thaman, who had also demanded information from the MC about the amount released for the development of these colonies. Following which, MC joint commissioner (A) sent a letter to tehsildar (Ludhiana West), who is also secretary of the committee, with a copy of that letter to Thaman, saying that the fund will now be used to construct the Lakkar Bridge.
The letter states that the LIT had to give an amount of Rs 29 crore to the MC for the construction of the railway overbridge (Lakkar Bridge), but it had given only Rs 4.91 crore till now. The letter further states that this Rs 3.21 crore that was for the development of colonies will be adjusted as pending payment for construction of the Lakkar Bridge.
The LIT was informed about it, the letter further states.
Earlier, HT had also highlighted the pathetic condition of roads, parks, lack of sanitation and other problems being faced by the residents, but the LIT officials had claimed that the development works would take place only after getting Rs 3.21 crore back from the MC.
On the other hand, Thaman said, “Though the colonies were transferred back to the LIT in January last year, people are waiting endlessly for development. Parks and roads are in bad condition.
Residents want to know about the status of funds released for development of colonies. If amount was released for the colonies, then why are they using it for any other project and who is responsible for neglecting these colonies?”
LIT superintending engineer Sukhbir Jakhar was busy somewhere and was not able for comments. MC commisioner Gopal Krishan Singh Singh did not attend the call.