Around 60 of the recommended works are likely to take off after July
It has been a year since the MLAs from the city began shouldering the hopes of the lakhs of residents who they represent. But a look at their record paints them in an unflattering light as most of the 222 works recommended by them are no where close to getting started.
The sitting Members of Legislative Assembly in the 16 constituencies of Chennai district including one nominated member have recommended 222 development works under the MLA Constituency Development Scheme (MLACDS) so far. However utilisation certificate or completion report of the works on most of the recommended projects are yet to be issued by the departments concerned even after a year since the Assembly elections.
Only one work, recommended in Royapuram constituency, has begun.
The Chennai Corporation Commissioner, who is the nodal officer for the sanctioning of the works, conducted a review meeting recently to speed up the implementation of the works. One of the reasons for this condition in the city is the additional time taken by MLAs in making a decision on recommending a work for civic welfare. Unaware of the guidelines and the process of sanction by the nodal officer in the district, MLAs often end up submitting recommendation letters to Coporation zonal officials or officials of other departments. After wasting one year in submitting recommendation letters to various officials who do not have authority to sanction the MLACDS work, an MLA finally submitted a bunch of such letters at Ripon Buildings only last week.
The officials have started processing many such recommendations but several of them also face yet another problem in identifying if the work should be taken up under the ‘tied component' of Rs.1.125 crore or the ‘untied component' of Rs.87.5 lakh. In urban areas such as Chennai, out of the Rs.2 crore per year of the scheme, an amount of Rs.1.125 crore has to be earmarked under the ‘tied component' for priority works such as solar street lights, construction of bridges, renewal of badly worn out BT roads, laying of cement concrete roads, buildings for government hospitals or schools, bridges, parks, storm water drains, burial grounds, public toilets or jetrodding machines.
Any work not falling within a negative list including construction of office building and purchase of furniture, repair works, infrastructure for government aided or self financing colleges, places of religious worship and installation of high mast lights can be taken up under the ‘untied component' of the MLACDS.
Many works recommended without proper study by the MLAs also end up facing problems at the site level, which leads to further delay. Some of the works that have been recommended by the MLAs so far in the city include renovation work in Anna Nagar Tower Park, Kolathur Kumaran Nagar bus stand, a park on the OSR land between Patullos Road and Woods Road, community halls and classrooms in Chennai Schools. Around 60 of the recommended works are likely to take off after July.