MC suffers Rs 22-cr loss as it fails to transfer funds from 9 merged villages
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has failed to transfer the funds of nine village merged into the civic body. Four of these villages came under the MC control 18 years ago and five villages nine years back.
This has caused a loss of around Rs 22 crore to the MC, which it would have got in the form of rent and lease money. Taking a note of the lapse, the MC’s local audit department has now shot off a letter to the MC commissioner to recover the rent from MC’s property, which come to around Rs 22 crore. It has also directed the commissioner to transfer funds of gram panchayats to the civic body.
Burail, Badheri, Attawa and Butrela were transferred to the MC in 1998 and Maloya, Kajheri, Hallomajra, Dadumajra and Palsora in 2006. In its letter to the commissioner, the local audit department pointed that the income by way of rent and lease money was realised from properties by gram panchayats, but the funds were not credited to the MC account.
Citing an example, the audit department stated that there are 18 shops and around 450 plots in Maloya which were given on rent/lease to Gwala and the monthly income was Rs 5 lakhs per month at the time of the transfer to MC. However, the civic body has neither recovered nor took any initiative to recover the amount, which comes around to Rs 6 crore in the past nine years.
It was also stated that the MC had not recovered rent on 37 commercial booths (Rs 46.86 lakhs) in Maloya, Kajheri, Badheri, Butrela and Palsora.
MC FAILS TO SCRUTINISE LAND RECORDS
The then additional commissioner, Sunil Bhatia, constituted a committee to scrutinise land records of five villages transferred to the MC in 2006, but the officials concerned are still not aware of the land worth ` 100 crore in Hallomajra, Maloya, Dadumajra, Palsora and Kejheri. Reason: Records are stashed in cupboards that have not been opened for the past eight years.
It has been learnt that most of the vacant land and shops in these villages have been illegally occupied after the panchayats passed resolutions on back date on ownership of the properties. Moreover, the civic body has no information about schools, “janj ghars” and ‘dharamshalas’ (inns) and aganwadis in these villages.
In the absence of records, civic officials have been issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) to villagers on the basis of personal records that are in possession of retired ‘patwaris’.
A senior civic official said: “No MC official wants to check the land records as they believe it would complicated the matter.”