'Give preference to employees' dues, development later'
Exposing the hollowness of the agenda of development of the SAD-BJP government, owing to an acute paucity of funds the local bodies department has asked all civic bodies to first clear the dues of the employees and carry out developmental work only if they have funds left.
Principal secretary of local bodies, Jagpal Singh Sandhu, shot off a letter to all civic bodies of the state to this effect.
“Carry out developmental work only if you have money…don't move out with the formula to spend on development by creating liabilities,” stated the letter.
The letter has put the mayors and heads of the municipal councils in a fix, as they face public pressure for carrying out development and has jeopardised numerous projects in cities and towns.
The principal secretary said this direction was meant to bring financial discipline and ensure effective management of civic bodies, apart from providing financial relief for the employees who have not got salaries for months because of fund crunch.
However, strong resentment among civic body heads has erupted in the wake of this; numerous presidents of the municipal councils and mayors have planned to take up the issue with local bodies minister Bhagat Chunni Lal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.
“Those who are opposing this move are manipulating the import of the letter. I have asked them not to use money from bodies' own sources for development, until the dues of employees are pending. The money meant for a specific project would be spent on that only,” clarified the principal secretary.
But as per experts, routine developmental works, like repairing of roads, sewerage, waters supply etc, are carried out with the resources of the civic body.