Sandeep Joshi

Each of them gets Rs.3.89 crore for works in their ward

  • People across the Capital have been demanding better civic amenities
  • MCD House has hiked funds three times during the past five years

    NEW DELHI: As the sitting Councillors of the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party approach their party leaders seeking tickets for the forthcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls, the track record of many in utilising funds allocated for carrying out development works in their wards has been far from satisfactory.

    During the past five years, 134 Councillors were given Rs.521 crore as grant for their constituency development fund, but they failed to utilise a whopping Rs.164 crore of the allocated sum.

    Since 2002, when the present MCD House was constituted, year after year the consumption of money has declined even as people across the Capital have been demanding better civic amenities from their elected representatives. This when during their five-year term, each Councillor received Rs.3.89 crore for carrying out development works in their ward.

    Ironically while utilisation of funds has been abysmally low, the present MCD House has hiked funds allocated to the Councillors three times during the past five years.

    In 2002-03, a Councillor used to get Rs.65 lakh per annum, but they raised a lot of hullabaloo in the MCD meeting stating that the fund was not enough and demanded a raise.

    As a result, the fund for each Councillor was raised to Rs.75 lakh in 2003-04, and again to Rs.87 lakh in 2005-06. Then in the Budget for 2007-08, passed recently, the fund for each Councillor was raised to Rs.1 crore per annum.

    In 2002-03, of the Rs.87 crore allocated to Councillors, only Rs.56 crore were spent on various public work, while in 2003-04, the money allotted to Councillors rose to Rs.100 crore of which only Rs.78 crore could be utilised by various Councillors in their respective wards. In 2004-05 while the fund was Rs.100 crore, the utilisation declined further to touch Rs.67.5 crore.

    Similarly, in 2005-06 the Councillors' fund increased to Rs.116.58 crore but the expenditure incurred remained at just over Rs.86 crore. In the current financial year, of the Rs.116.58 crore allocated to the Councillors' fund, only Rs.63.5 crore had been spent on various projects till February.

    In the current financial year, 56 out of 134 Councillors have not even utilised 50 per cent of the funds allocated to them, while only 20 Councillors have so far managed to spend 75 per cent of the funds.

    The Councillors who have performed well in utilising their funds include MCD Standing Committee Chairman J. K. Sharma, Leader of Opposition Subhash Arya, Vijender Gupta, Santosh Dahiya, Ratan Lal, Satbir Sharma, Surender Singh, Jamir Ahmed Munna, Shalu Malik, Ram Kishore and Ratan Lal.

    Those who faltered badly include Ramesh Dutta, Premlata Goel, Nisar Hussain, H. C. Jain, Roshan Lal Ahuja, Sunil Bhiduri, Prem Kumar, Sughriv Singh, Ishwar Das and Man Singh.

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