Chandigarh admn comes to the rescue of MC, releases ₹130 crore for development
In the beginning of this crucial election year itself, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received a major shot in the arm with the UT administration finally deciding to financially rescue the beleaguered municipal corporation (MC).
The administration on Friday decided to immediately release ₹30 crore for carrying out development works in the 13 villages, which had come under the MC jurisdiction a year ago. Another ₹60 crore will be released in a phased manner by June 2021.
The administration also decided to release in full the pending grant-in-aid of ₹100 crore to the MC. The aid will come without the Centre-imposed mandatory expenditure cuts.
MC commissioner KK Yadav said, “The administration has also assured that for the next financial year (2021-2022), the grant-in-aid will be increased from the current ₹425 crore to ₹500 crore.”
The decision was taken in a meeting called by UT adviser Manoj Parida and attended by mayor Ravi Kant Sharma and Yadav.
After being elected as mayor earlier this month, Sharma had promised to take up the issue of shortage of funds with the UT administration on priority basis. He had directed the MC departments to prepare a list of projects that had been suffering due to the paucity of funds.
The MC engineering department had prepared a proposal of ₹102 crore for village development for works like new roads, laying stormwater pipes and sewer lines, electrical and horticulture works, supply of water and installing more than 1,000 tube-wells for improving water supply.
Village devp crucial for BJP
Delivering on village development is crucial for the ruling BJP as the MC goes to poll this year, and villages are now part of the 35 new MC wards. The party had come under severe criticism from residents and opposition parties on the issue. Residents had complained that the development in villages had suffered immensely after they were brought under the MC.
With funds in its kitty, the MC will also start releasing ₹80 lakh each to councillors under ward development funds, which will allow long-pending works to be restarted, said Yadav. Last year, the councillors hadn’t received any.
In addition to releasing the aid and additional funds, the administration has also, in principle, agreed to the long-standing demand of the MC of sharing of revenues generated from the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) with it. If implemented, the MC stands to gain more than ₹100 crore additional revenues every year.
On Friday, the administration also decided to transfer development of some of the infrastructure projects from MC to the UT engineering department. This includes reconstruction, if needed, of the five parking lots in Sector 17 and other sectors, which have been declared unsafe for use. This will save the MC around ₹25 crore in costs.
UT to share costs of village devp
Close to ₹12 crore will be incurred by the UT engineering department for development works in the 13 villages; the department has been directed to complete the construction of seven community centres in the city before May 2021. This will also add to the revenue of the MC.
For revenue generation, permission for exhibitions at Kala Gram have been assured to the MC. The administration has also assured that provision of a banquet hall in Industrial Area, Phase I, will be made.
The UT adviser has also directed the chief architect to increase the unipole sites from 24 to 75 and to earmark two additional petrol pump sites for the MC. This will further revenue generation for the MC.
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