Municipal dept. has used just 8% aid under Swachh Bharat Mission

The Centre’s strict rules and non-availability of any window for misuse of funds are said to be the reasons for poor utilisation.  

While legislators have been crying foul over non-grant of funds for implementing development works in their constituencies, officials of the Municipal Administration Department have failed to utilise available funds under the Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

The department had utilised just 8% of the available funds in the current financial year (2020-21) till December 2020. Though aid of ₹567.71 crore was provided to the department, a mere ₹47.17 crore was utilised as on December, according to official sources.

The Centre’s strict rules and “non-availability of any window for misuse of funds” are the reasons for poor utilisation of funds, official sources said. Overall, under different schemes and plans, the department had spent ₹4,086.54 crore of the available ₹6,832.58 crore, constituting 60% of the expenditure.

Irked by poor expenditure, Minister for Municipal Administration, Horticulture and Sericulture K.C. Narayana Gowda at a recent review meeting took officials to task and asked them to explain reasons for such low expenditure under SBM.

With the department incurring less than 10% of the expenditure during the first three quarters of the financial year, Mr. Gowda has asked officials to come out with concrete plans in the next 15 days to utilise funds under the SBM. He warned of stern action against officials for showing laxity in execution of works under the scheme, sources in the government said.

The Union government launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014 to make the country garbage and open defecation-free. Under SBM, urban local bodies (ULBs) have to make proper systems of segregation, collection, transportation, processing, treatment and disposal of solid waste in harmony with the environment and in line with prevalent regulations.

In the review meeting, the Minister also told officials that they have failed to implement plastic ban despite it being officially banned a few years ago. The Minister’s stern directions come when the Centre is working out a second phase of SBM.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 4:14:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/municipal-dept-has-used-just-8-aid-under-swachh-bharat-mission/article33514180.ece

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