UT releases ₹93-cr grant-in-aid to MC
Chandigarh A day after Hindustan Times highlighted UT administration’s failure to release the promised ₹100 crore to municiapl corporation, the administration on Monday released ₹93.25 crore grant-in-aid to the civic body for the financial year 2019-20.
It is learnt, the funds were released after the return of the MC commissioner KK Yadav who was out of country on an official tour for a week. “The commissioner met the senior UT officials and requested for immediate release of the funds and thereafter the administration relented,” said a senior UT official privy to the development.
On November 8, senior UT officials had claimed that the grant will be released within a week. But, even after two weeks, the administration had failed to do so.
Struggling with acute fund crunch, the MC was waiting for the grant to carry forward various works, especially road repairs.
During a meeting with mayor Rajesh Kalia and councillors on November 8 morning, which was also attended by UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore had also informed them about UT’s decision to release funds to the MC.
The administration had promised to release ₹50 crore for the roads and ₹50 crore for other developmental works. It had also agreed to give another ₹38 crore for expansion of Chandigarh’s water storage capacity, and ₹14 crore for Kajauli waterworks over the next few years.
The MC work, particularly road repairs, is expected to get on fast track after the release of funds. Earlier, there was a concern that with the delay in release of grants, the MC road work will not take off this year. Not only the road works, but also payments due to the MC employees are also now expected to be released.
The rest of the funds, around ₹58 crore also promised by the administration will be released as per the progress of the projects. The MC had demanded ₹1,000 crore under the Union budget for the current financial year, but got only ₹375 crore in grant-in aid. Last month, it requested additional ₹200 crore from the administration.