Corporation approves Plan fund for 2014-15
The City Corporation Council approved on Tuesday its Plan fund for 2014-15, which earmarks almost half of the State Budget-allotted sum of Rs. 36.31 crore for basic infrastructure schemes.
The civic body had been allotted Rs.15.04 crore under the public infrastructure head with emphasis on electricity and energy under the Plan fund. In addition, Rs.6.62 crore would be earmarked under the 13 Finance Commission to this sector.
The State Budget allotment had not failed the Corporation’s hopes for a 15 per cent allotment hike this year in basic sectors such as housing and drinking water supply. The civic body had got the full amount it had sought under these two heads. It had requested an allotment of Rs.1.04 crore for housing schemes in the Plan year 2014-15, which it got. The civic body had sought Rs.78.34 lakh to implement drinking water projects, which was also allotted.
The Plan fund for the Corporation Stadium grandstand, one of the three venues for the National Games in the district, was Rs.1.75 crore. The work had got an allocation of Rs.1.25 crore in the 2012-13 Plan fund. The 2014-15 Plan fund earmarked another Rs.50.75 lakh for sports and youth affairs related activities in the city.
Welfare of women
The Plan fund had earmarked Rs.3.63 crore for women and child welfare projects in the city, while projects for senior citizens and persons with mental and physical challenges had been allotted Rs.55.56 crore.
The city, which faced garbage disposal problems, had been allotted Rs.52.56 lakh under the head of health and hygiene under the Plan fund.
Maintenance sum allotments for schools and Anganwadis in the Corporation areas had marginally dipped from 2013-14.
Certain allotments outside the Plan fund had also been mentioned in the report submitted by Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef, the chairperson of the Finance Standing Committee, to the Council on Tuesday.
These included an allotment of Rs.2.35 crore for maintenance work undertaken at schools in the Corporation area; Rs.1.95 crore for upkeep of urban Anganwadis; and Rs.7.63 crore for Scheduled Caste category projects; in the city.
The council discussion on the Plan fund was not without dissidence.
Opposition councillor P. Kishenchand accused the ruling LDF of opacity on how funds allotted in the previous Plan fund were used.
“There is no transparency on how funds allotted to the various standing committees were used, or whether they were used at all for the assigned projects. For example, what happened to the Corporation’s plans to install biogas plants in residential areas,” he said.
Mayor A.K. Premajam said the standing committees should review their work and Plan fund utilisation.