Ludhiana MC F&CC meeting: Projects under general category put on hold

Published on Sep 18, 2022 12:22 AM IST

Projects worth crores, which are to be majorly funded under central schemes or taken up under councillor quota, get Ludhiana MC finance panel’s nod

The Ludhiana MC finance and contracts committee meeting underway at the mayor’s camp office on Saturday. (Harvinder SIngh/HT)
The Ludhiana MC finance and contracts committee meeting underway at the mayor’s camp office on Saturday. (Harvinder SIngh/HT)
By, Ludhiana

Amid crippling fund crunch ahead of the civic body polls, the municipal corporation’s finance and contracts committee (F&CC) on Saturday decided to keep a large number of development works under the general category on hold during its meeting held at the mayor’s camp office on Saturday.

However, projects worth crores, which are to be majorly funded under Union government schemes like National Clean Air Program (NCAP) and Smart City Mission or taken up under councillor quota have been approved citing the upcoming municipal elections.

The councillor quota projects have been approved subject to the cost of works not exceeding the fixed quota, which is 1.5 crore per annum for outer wards and 1 crore for inner wards.

As per the information, 155 resolutions were tabled at the meeting, of which around 110 were approved, most of which are regarding installation of tubewells, reconstruction of roads and rejuvenation of green belts.

MC to implement pending projects under Smart City Mission

As the deadline to start new projects under Smart City Mission was March 31, 2022, MC will now act as the implementation agency for these works instead of the Ludhiana Smart City Limited (LSCL).

Officials stated that the LSCL can fund the projects till March 2023, and if the work isn’t completed by then, the smart city funds will lapse and the state will have to provide the remaining funds.

Major projects approved

Major Smart City projects approved by the committee include strengthening of decades old brick sewer line in different parts of the city at a cost of 82.22 crore, installation of UID number plates outside houses for around 5 crore and transformation of Ghumar Mandi Road into a smart one for 25.67 crore.

Installation of 293 CCTV cameras for surveillance at mini secretariat and court complex for 3.89 crore, development of a semi-Olympic size all-weather pool near Rakh Bagh for 5.22 crore, development of children friendly park behind civil hospital and purchasing machinery to handle solid waste under Swachh Bharat Mission also got the finance panel’s nod.

MC planning to lease out sports facilities in city

Earning no or nominal revenue from sport facilities in the city, the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) is now planning to lease them out to private companies/contractors. These include the swimming pool near Rakh bagh, skating rink in Sarabha Nagar, weight lifting centre near Rakh bagh and Shastri Badminton Hall near Guru Nanak stadium.

A resolution for the same was tabled during the F&CC meeting. MC secretary TS Panchhi said mayor Balkar Sandhu has formed a committee to look into the matter and no final decision has yet been taken.

An MC official, requesting anonymity, stated that some private entities have already taken over the facilities unofficially,and are even charging those using them, but are sharing revenue with the civic body.

If these facilities are leased out, MC will earn revenue and the contractor will also take up maintenance works, which is currently MC ‘s responsibility, said the official.

The finance panel also approved a resolution to establish a “book cafe” for visitors at Rose Garden by renovating an existing MC library, which is currently in a dilapidated state. The resolution also included establishment of a cafe alongside the library, but it was scrapped.

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