Chandigarh MC set to spend ₹4 crore on house number boards
Cash-strapped civic body is tapping into the councillors’ ward development fund to carry out the project
Even as the municipal corporation continues to face acute financial crunch, it plans to spend more than ₹4 crore to install stainless-steel house number boards.
The civic body is tapping into the councillors’ ward development fund (WDF) to carry out the project and already floated tenders for some areas where the boards are to be installed.
A tender worth ₹25 lakh has been floated for Sectors 39 and 40 and another for worth ₹8 lakh for Sector 29. A time of two months has been given for the installation.
MC chief engineer Shailender Singh, said, “The boards are being installed in all the wards, as councillors have demanded it. For each ward, the estimated cost is around ₹25 lakh.” The current MC has 26 wards. The ward development funds are allocated to each councilor for development activity in his ward. MC has earmarked ₹80 lakh for each ward for the financial year 2021-2022.
The floating of these tenders closely follows the MC general House’s refusal to fund the installation of new speed limit boards on roads under its jurisdiction. Citing fund issues, the House though had agreed to undertake the work, but only if the UT administration funds the project.
The civic body had prepared a ₹2-crore tender for installing the sign boards on the roads under its jurisdiction after new speed limits were finalised. The agenda for it was tabled before the House on May 31, but wasn’t approved.
The MC’s move to spend on number boards has also elicited some criticism. Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of FOSWAC, said, “At a time when boosting health infrastructure and facilities related to it should be the priority, the MC is spending funds here. The MC has been in the habit of wasting precious funds even though it is said to be struggling to meet even its routine expenses.”
Vinod Vashisht, convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO), said, “It seems that the MC has misplaced priorities. Though the boards are required and we have been demanding it, but at present the priority should be to spend on the city’s poor sanitation. For instance, the waste processing plant has been shut for the last one year and MC should use the funds to restart it.”
Notably, MC had earlier installed boards in Sectors 16 and 35, but in other sectors it was stopped. Councillors of other sectors are also demanding the installation of the boards.
Stating that the approval for installation of the boards in the rest of the wards has now come from the administration, Singh, said, “The UT chief architect has also approved the installation of the boards.”