MCD panel chiefs unhappy over funds

NEW DELHI JAN. 3. The heads of four major committees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today expressed their unhappiness over the allocation of funds to them in the Budget estimates for the year 2003-2004 and has asked the Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, to look into certain issues raised by them in their Budget speeches.

The head of the Slum and JJ Committee, Ashok Jain, said they had showed remarkable improvement in the recovery head and the target of Rs.56 crores for this year would be easily met besides there had been improvement in relocation work and in uplifting the living standard of those living in slums.

Mr. Jain suggested that works like construction of civic amenities, "shishu vatika'' and construction of brick roads in slums should be carried out from plan fund and not from non-plan fund as it puts financial burden on the latter. He also asked for immediate computerisation of the department and implementation of double entry inquiry system so that excess workload could be reduced.

The Committee chairman asked that the dues and recoveries from different departments should be immediately carried out. "Delhi Police owes Rs.30 lakhs to the MCD. Similarly, L&DO Department owes Rs.475 lakhs, Transport Department Rs. 200 lakhs and various allottees Rs.975 lakhs,'' he informed, adding that the department should also vacate its land from illegal possessions.

The Education Committee chairman, Satbir Singh, said that concerted efforts were being made to provide additional facilities to 268 schools in order to make them model schools. He informed that till October 30, 2002, 324 classrooms had been built while 1,359 more rooms were under construction and provision was there to build rooms for 300 schools presently being run from tents. It had also been decided to carry out a survey of children between four to 11 years of age this month to find out how many more primary schools were needed, he added.

The Works Committee's head, J.K. Sharma, said 95 per cent of the Capital's land falls under the MCD's purview but the fund proposed was just 247.37 crores for development works which was not enough and needed to hiked further.

The head of Garden Committee, Chandra Makkad, also demanded provision of more money for her department so that beautification of parks and green patches could be carried out more affectively. She said provision of Rs.10 lakh for upkeep of parks was very less and it should be at least Rs.50 lakhs.

Similarly, there was no provision for lighting of parks for which Rs.134 lakhs should be provided, she said, adding money for manure and fertilizers should be raised from proposed Rs.8 lakhs to Rs.25 lakhs and for engineering work the money should be Rs.30 lakh and not Rs.20 lakh as mentioned in the Budget estimate.

She also asked for Rs.100 lakhs for purchase of various items for the department as the proposed Rs.50 was not enough and at least Rs.250 lakhs should be earmarked for staff and park development in place of Rs.160 lakhs and Rs.30 lakhs for pipelines in place of proposed Rs.15 lakhs.

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