Government released Rs. 31.08 cr. for 2008-13, only Rs. 23.7 cr. was utilised
The tall claims made by legislators regarding development in their respective constituencies fall short when it comes to utilisation of the MLA Local Area Development (MLAD) Fund.
None of the seven legislators from the district have been able to ensure total utilisation of the funds.
The government released Rs. 31.08 crore (Rs. 4.44 crore each) for each MLAD Fund in the district during 2008-13. But only Rs. 23.7 crore was utilised and the remaining Rs. 7. 38 crore lapsed.
Interestingly, even Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar did not make use of the funds in his home constituency, Hubli-Dharwad Central. Similar was the case with Santosh Lad, the lone Congress MLA.
Among the legislators, the Chief Minister’s Political Secretary, Shankar Patil Munenkoppa, representing Navalgund stands first by utilising Rs. 3.97 crore. He is followed by Seema Masuti of Dharwad who utilised Rs. 3.84 crore. S.I. Chikkanagoudar and Santosh Lad utilised Rs. 3.39 crore and Rs. 3.36 crore respectively.
Hubli-Dharwad East MLA Veerabhadrappa Halaharavi and Hubli-Dharwad Central MLA Jagadish Shettar spent Rs. 3.18 crore each. Hubli-Dharwad West MLA Chandrakant Bellad stands last by utilising Rs. 2.79 crore.
Interestingly, the junior MLAs have fared better than the seniors in spending these funds.
Mr. Bellad came under fire on several occasions for not showing interest in releasing money from his MLAD Fund. He faces allegations of not approving works, which were to be taken up using these funds, by giving obscure reasons.
“He did not listen to our pleas to take up minor works such as repair of drains and filling potholes,” said a BJP worker.
The government had created the MLAD Fund so that legislators could identify works that have to be taken up on priority.