Complex rules stall Pune society development works under MLA funds
The complexity of conditions imposed by the state government for allocation of MLA constituency development funds to society development works is one of the main reasons behind residential societies’ lack of interest in applying for benefits under the scheme
The complexity of conditions imposed by the state government for allocation of MLA constituency development funds to society development works is one of the main reasons behind residential societies’ lack of interest in applying for benefits under the scheme. Despite the state government having sanctioned a proposal wherein MLA constituency development funds can be utilised for development works in societies, the district planning committee – entrusted with the task of sanctioning funds for the scheme – hasn’t received a single proposal yet from legislators or societies, seeking funds for works related to rainwater harvesting, solid waste management, solar energy or electric charging centres.
One of the conditions imposed by the state government for allocation of MLA constituency development funds to society development works is that 75% of the amount will be sanctioned under the MLA fund while 25% will be given by the society, with the total funding ceiling kept at ₹2.50 crore. It is further stipulated that only upon 25% expenditure by the society and 50% expenditure under the MLA fund will the state government sanction the remaining portion of money. Also, the society must have an occupancy certificate, and the audit of the society must have been completed before starting any development work. It is also mandated that the society not fall on illegal land and not be under redevelopment. The society should have copies of all documents in hand to start the development works. According to the Pune District Housing Societies Federation – an umbrella body of 18,500 residential societies – the reasons behind the lack of interest in the scheme are a lack of awareness about how to obtain the funds and the maze of procedural aspects.
Federation district president Suhas Patwardhan said, “Residential societies don’t know about the scheme in detail, and funds must be allocated depending on what exactly is the need of that particular residential society. The officer-bearers of the society management must take the lead in carrying out development works under the scheme.”
Wadgaon Sheri MLA Sunil Tingare said, “The entire scheme is tangled in a maze of stringent terms and conditions. There is a pre-condition that any development work carried out in a society has to be approved by the special general body of the society. Also, the current ceiling of ₹2.50 crore must be increased to carry out development works in a society. There is a larger requirement of funds for carrying out developmental works of any society, and the increase in demand must be taken into consideration by the state government.”
In July, the state government had issued a government resolution (GR) allowing public representatives to fund development works of housing societies. According to the GR, public representatives could fund development works such as rainwater harvesting, installation of sewage treatment plants, solar panels, CCTV cameras, and construction of footpaths, open gyms and gardens among others. It was Tingare who had urged the government to allow elected members to utilise their constituency development funds for development works of housing societies. Before the GR was issued, elected members could not carry out the said works.