Public hearing reveals councillors waste money, do not consider people’s opinions
A whopping Rs 80 lakh of Rs 1 crore councillors’ fund was spent on fancy lights in south Delhi’s Hauz Rani ward in 2010-11. In Malviya Nagar, Rs 20 lakh of Rs 50 lakh expenditure were spent on lights. This was revealed on Monday at a public hearing on boards displaying how councillors spent their local area development fund (LAD).
The CIC order
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi had in February 2011 directed authorities to put up boards in Hindi in wards with details of available funds and how the elected members spent it annually.
His orders were prompted by complaints by Anjali Bhardwaj and 317 other citizens from the Satark Nagarik Sangathan (SNS). Monday’s public hearing by SNS and National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) was called for an audit of these boards.
During the audit, feedback for 76 wards found that there were no boards in 20 wards. “Of the rest, 25 were in pathetic shape, 14 were in English and six were blank. Only 11 were in a good condition,” Seema Dabas, an activist, said.
Rekha Mandal from Malviya Nagar area said, “We don’t want fancy lights. We want better sewage and other basic facilities. Why don’t the councillors ask us what we want?”
What can you do?
People can reach Gandhi’s office with written complaints about boards either on Tuesday or Friday.
The gathering also passed two resolutions: Citizens should be consulted on how LAD funds are spent, and there should be at least one ward meeting per month.