Financial crisis faces MC in the face
The UT administration has failed to release the quarterly grants of Rs 36.65 crore under plan head to the Municipal Corporation, hitting the development work in the city severely. The administration was to release the funds in July, but the civic body is waiting for it till date.chandigarh Updated: Oct 09, 2012 23:56 IST
The UT administration has failed to release the quarterly grants of Rs 36.65 crore under plan head to the Municipal Corporation, hitting the development work in the city severely.
The administration was to release the funds in July, but the civic body is waiting for it till date. Moreover, the employees, including sweeping staff on contractual basis, are complaining of not getting their salaries in time. The officers said they have written to the administration about this and were expecting that the problem would be sorted out soon.
Ironically, for six years now, the MC has been drawing a blank on revenue generation and relying only on government funds of nearly Rs 800 crore under plan and non-plan head. Its own annual income has fluctuated between Rs 100 crore and Rs 110 crore, at a time when it could have considered auctioning 165 residential plots in Manimajra or developed other vacant sites in the area.
Speaking to HT, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said: "We have written to the UT administration to release the grant a few days back. As of now, we are not facing any crisis and trying to manage operations, but in case it is delayed, we will have to take money from the fixed deposits."
Interestingly, this year, out of Rs 500 crore money kept in the fixed deposits for emergency use, the civic body has already spent Rs 200 crore. In the MC house meeting held on June 19, councillors had expressed concern over the serious financial crunch staring the MC in the face.
Congress councillor Subhash Chawla, who raised the issue in the House, said the day was not far when the MC will be passing through a financial crisis.
The main source of MC's income is water tariff, property tax, paid parking and earnings from community centres. Interestingly, this year, the civic body earned Rs 59 crore from water tariff, but spent nearly Rs 80 crore for maintenance of the water system. Besides, only Rs 15 crore of the Rs 21 crore was collected.
Though in 2002, MC approved the layout plan to develop pocket no-6 in Manimajra and decided to auction nearly 165 residential plots, but till date no auction has been done. No efforts were made to develop pockets no. 2 and 3 (behind fire station) in Manimajra and pockets no. 4 and 5 (site where Durga Nursery was located) in Manimajra.
Congress councillor Sat Parkash Aggarwal said: "'It is very sad that the civic authority once again has completely failed to generate their resources, despite having the means. There are many milk and confectionery booths built on municipal corporation's land that are not paying any rent to the authorities."