Surplus budget, yet Gurugram civic body has no money to pay phone bills
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram netted a surplus of Rs 406 crore in its 2017-18 budget.gurgaon Updated: Aug 12, 2018 05:10 IST
The staff working for the richest civic body in Haryana, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) which netted a surplus of Rs 406 crore in its 2017-18 budget, were unable to use their official cellphone numbers for seven hours on Thursday as the municipality had failed to make payment to the service provider.
On Thursday, all of MCG’s 183 staff members and 35 wards councillors were unable to make outgoing calls with their official numbers between 3pm and 10pm. The MCG has 635 sanctioned posts, out of which at least 183 positions are filled by staff members, rest are officials on deputation or are outsourced.
Worst-hit were the engineering, sanitation, taxation and horticulture wing staffers, many of whom only had the one number for communication. Functioning of several departments was affected because of the non-payment of bills, officials familiar with the matter said.
MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav confirmed the development, but refused to comment any further on the issue. “It (temporary disconnection) happened due to non-payment of bills,” he said.
According to MCG officials, the audit wing had reservations regarding the mobile bill amount because of which the bills had not been paid since June. The official said the bill amount for the June and July bill cycles was around ₹11 lakh, cumulatively. However, the same could not be independently verified.
Around 3pm on Thursday, MCG officials discovered that their outgoing call facility had been ‘temporarily discontinued’. While calls could be received, officials working in the field found themselves in a spot as many of them were in locations difficult to access.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an MCG enforcement wing official said, “Some of us were carrying out anti-encroachment drives in sectors 43, 56 and 57. The drive was underway when my phone’s outgoing call facility was ‘temporarily discontinued’ and coordination became a problem. There have been instances when such drives have faced resistance from locals and turned violent. On Thursday, we were constantly concerned that we would not be able to alert anyone if the same happened to us. Fortunately, all the drives were conducted peacefully.”
Upon discovering that the outgoing call facility had been discontinued for everyone, the audit wing was directed to clear the bills and service was resumed by 10pm, officials said.
It must be noted that the budget for MCG’s administrative category (which includes costs for mobile bills) for the last fiscal was Rs 30.27 crore.
First Published: Aug 12, 2018 05:09 IST