Blame it on the procedural delay if the roads in your neighbourhood are not repaired on time this year. Construction of drains and repair of roads may be delayed in the city this year as the civic authorities are following new set of guidelines for the clearance of civil works.

It would be the construction and repair works using the Plan Fund of the corporation that are likely to be hit due to the procedural delays brought in by the new guidelines, said civic authorities.

A host of civil works including the construction of roads and drains, repair and construction of public buildings, works associated with the laying of water supply lines and power connections and a series of infrastructure development works are carried out annually using the Plan Fund. The infrastructure development works in colonies of marginalized sections of the society are also implemented using the fund.

The Plan Fund allocation of the Kochi Corporation is around Rs. 80 crore.

Going by the revised guidelines, the clearance of Steering Committees and Standing Committees related to the work are necessary before they are placed before the Works Standing Committee for scrutiny. The works committee would then recommend these works to the Corporation Council and District Planning Committee for approval. Earlier, the approval of the Steering Committee and Standing Committees concerned were not there and the Works Committee could consider straight away the proposals forwarded to it by the working groups of the corporation.

The shortage of hands and the delay in getting the approvals from the Steering Committee and the Standing Committees may affect the timely implementation of the work before the March 31 deadline, it is feared. Though the extended procedures for clearing the files can cause delay in execution of the works, the Kochi Corporation is taking steps for expediting the paper works, said Soumini Jain, chairperson, Works Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

With four months left in the current fiscal, the civic authorities are faced with the task of achieving maximum expenditure of the annual plan fund before the March 31 deadline.

Last year, the Corporation could achieve around 80 per cent expenditure in civil works.

The Plan Fund allocation of the Kochi Corporation is around Rs. 80 crore.

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