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Ahead of polls, nearly Rs 3 crore earmarked for MCD councillors

Ahead of the municipal elections next year, MCD councillors have hit a jackpot in the civic body’s budget.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2011 11:48 PM IST

Ahead of the municipal elections next year, MCD councillors have hit a jackpot in the civic body’s budget.

While they would get as much as Rs 1.55 crore under different heads before the end of this fiscal in February, Rs 2.55 crore, including a dedicated councillor fund of R50 lakh, has been earmarked for expenditure in 2011-12.

The announcements were made on Monday by Yogender Chandolia, chairman of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) standing committee while presenting the annual budget estimate for 2011-12 and revised budget estimate for 2010-11.

The funds under the revised budget estimate for 2010-11 would be made available before February end, he said.

The 2010-11 budget provided R50 lakh as MCD councillors’ fund. The revised budget estimate for the same year proposes for Rs 50 lakh per ward for building roads, Rs 25 lakh for sanitation and Rs 75 lakh to be spent as per the requirement of the ward according to the area councillor’s wish.

“Apart from this amount of R1.50 crore, we have proposed to allocate R5 lakh per ward for street lights,” Chandolia said.

Unlike Friday when Congress members disrupted the meeting over the additional councillor fund, the opposition sat through the entire proceedings almost silently.

Chandolia pointed out that different categories, such as roads and sanitation, have been created to “steer clear of problems from the Delhi government that had earlier objected to R2 crore as councillor fund saying how it can be at par with MLA fund?”

The budget also proposes Rs 50 lakh each for 42 wards in rural areas. A similar budget has been proposed for 100 wards that have unauthorised colonies.

“However, we will not release funds till the Delhi government regularises these colonies.

We will gherao the chief minister, go to the high court or even take to the streets to compel the government to regularise these colonies,” the BJP leader said.

The House will meet again on Tuesday when the leader of opposition Jai Kishen Sharma will open the budget debate. The expenditure plan will be finalised on February 14.

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