The Aluva municipality is in the grip of a serious shortage of money for development works as proposal for tax revision is still pending.
About 75 to 80 per cent of the revenue goes into paying salaries and pension to the staff, said the chairman of the municipality M.T. Jacob on Wednesday.
He said the proposal to revise taxes had not been taken to its logical conclusion, resulting in the municipality adjusting its expenditure to the current level of money flow. He said while the salaries of the staff and the pension had gone up at least four times over the last two decades, the municipality was getting its revenue at the rate fixed 21 years ago.
While municipality, one of the smallest in geographical spread at 7.18 sq. km, is unable to find enough money from its revenue, the development works are being undertaken with Plan Fund. The municipal authority has earmarked Rs. 6 lakh for each of the 26 wards to take up repair of roads, decongesting stormwater drains etc.
While municipality has an income level approximately of Rs. 4.5 crore annually, the salary and pension payout is to the tune of Rs. 38 to Rs. 40 lakh a month.
The daily expenses incurred by the municipality include payment to contingency labourers engaged in cleaning up the roads and streets in the town.
Another significant expenditure for the municipality is waste management. The municipality depends on the facility operated by the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram. The municipal authority pays Rs. 1,550 per tonne of waste sent to Brahmapuram daily. The quantity of waste varied between 13 and 17 tonnes a day, said Mr. Jacob.
He said the municipal authority did not have its own facility for waste treatment though it has a 2.5 acre plot in Keezhmadu Grama Panchayat. The municipal authority’s had not been permitted to set up a waste treatment facility in the Panchayat. The Panchayat authority has not even allowed the municipal corporation to set up a plastic shredding unit, alleged Mr. Jacob.
Waste from the Aluva market is diposed of every alternate day, he said.