The local bodies department has approved a budget of ₹127 crore against ₹268 crore proposed in February this year.(HT FILE)
The local bodies department has approved a budget of ₹127 crore against ₹268 crore proposed in February this year.(HT FILE)

Another blow to fund-starved Mohali MC as 141-crore cut imposed in budget

No funds approved for maintenance of parks, solid waste management
Hindustan Times, Mohali | By Hillary Victor, Mohali
PUBLISHED ON JUN 12, 2020 01:30 AM IST

In a major setback to the already fund-starved municipal corporation of Mohali, the Punjab local bodies department on Thursday imposed a cut of 141 crore in the MC’s proposed budget for the year 2020-21.

The local bodies department has approved a budget of 127 crore against 268 crore proposed in February this year. In 2019-20, the civic body had projected a 150 crore revenue, but received only 125 crore.

What’s more, no funds have been allocated for the maintenance of parks or solid waste management, Swachh Bharat Mission, sewerage maintenance and sewerage augmentation project.

The MC had been passing a deficit budget from the last four years, but in its last stint came up with a 17 crore surplus budget.

In February this year, the civic body had shown 251.66 crore expenditure in the proposed budget, but the local bodies department approved only 92.26 crore. Even though the MC will remain in surplus of 35.6 crore against the earlier proposed 17 crore after the budget is approved, the MC officials said that it couldn’t compensate for a cut of 141 crore.

Already during the nationwide lockdown, the MC has suffered a loss of 13 crore.

A senior MC official requesting anonymity said, “We are passing through financial straits. Though we had proposed 100 crore for maintenance of parks, Swachh Bharat mission, water supply and sewerage maintenance and for solid waste management projects, not a single penny has been approved. We are totally clueless on how to tackle the situation. We will take up the issue with the local government.”

The MC is now eying 66 crore from the Punjab municipal funds, 28 crore from property tax, and 11 crore from advertisements as the major income sources in the 127.86 crore surplus budget.

The five-year term of the present office of the MC got over on April 26, and subsequently, powers had been vested with MC commissioner Kamal Kumar Garg.

Every month, the civic body spends 5 crore on paying salaries, power bills, fuel charges, to private agencies and maintaining cleanliness in the city.

Former deputy mayor Manjit Singh Sethi said, “The government has completely failed on all fronts. More than 200 tenders of development works worth 30 crore have not been allotted in the last eight months. If they are not allotted soon, we will hold a massive protest.”

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