AG report slams Zirakpur MC for failing to spend 58% funds

MC failed to build EWS houses and community toilets and allowed arrears to pile up, states the report by the Punjab accountant general
Damaged roads at Zirakpur in Mohali.(Gurminder Singh/HT)
Damaged roads at Zirakpur in Mohali.(Gurminder Singh/HT)
Updated on Jul 31, 2020 11:11 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mohali | ByHillary Victor, Mohali

In a scathing audit report, the accountant general (AG) Punjab slammed the Zirakpur municipal council for failing to utilise 64 crore during 2019-20 and just spending 42% of its earnings as its total receipt was around 110 crore.

Blocked sewerage pipes, damaged roads and non-functioning streetlights are some of the basic amenities missing in Zirakpur

“The Urban Local Body (ULB’s) collection was of 96 crore, on account of income (including VAT/GST of 17 crore received from the Punjab government), out of which only 49 crore (including non-committed development works) were spent on development works. The rest remained unspent,” the AG noted

The report added that in these circumstances, the purpose of ULBs to provide basic amenities to residents had been forfeited, despite taxes being collected from them. The MC had also failed to utilise the taxpayer’s money, deprived the poor of benefits and did not build community toilets, the report read.

No EWS flat, plot allotted

Though the civic body approved 50 building plans for group housing projects and licenses to colonies in the past two years, not even a single EWS flat/ plot had been allotted to EWS category, the report said. This happened, it added, even as the civic body collected 13 crore for approval of building plans.

The MC authorities failed to collect 6 crore including arrears of past three years for water supply and sewerage charges. It also failed to recover 5 crore as annual and installation charges of 102 mobile towers from 12 mobile companies till March 2019.

When contacted, MC executive officer Sandeep Tewari said, “I joined office two months back and these issues are old issues, but I will try to streamline them and make sure proper basic amenities are provided to the residents,” he said.

Community toilets not built

Though the Zirakpur civic body received 8 lakh for the construction of community toilets/public toilets within the city under the Swachh Bharat Mission (U) in March 2018, no work was done, according to the AG’s audit. The civic body also collected 15 crore as compounding/regularisation charges by regularising unauthorised plots/buildings and unauthorised colonies but it had not deposited 75.2 lakh (5%) under the social infrastructure fund meant to create better planning, the report added.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021