Civic work in several constituencies are suffering due to lack of funds. The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation administration which has not been able to disburse funds usually earmarked for corporators this year, consequently the works former corporators wish to carry out in their respective constituencies remain pending.
Each corporator would be allocated Rs 50 lakh from the civic budget for expenses towards public works. From this budget laptops for students, sewing machines, vada pav stalls, flour mills among others were distributed to keep voters happy.
Apart from the sum allocated, the Standing Committee also would keep aside Rs 300 crore to be distributed among members as per their requirements. Besides this, Rs 120 crore would be allocated from the Mayor’s fund. All these funds never materialised this year as after dissolution of the Shiv Sena-led BMC on March 8 this year, the state government had handed over the charge to BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal as an administrator. Currently, proposals made by assistant commissioners, public works department engineers are being submitted to the commissioner and passed as per the BMC rules.
Since elections are pending, in the absence of a standing committee and mayor, the funds have not been coming in.
Due to the financial crunch the former corporators are facing, they are unable to help people who approach them with grievances.
Ravi Raja, Opposition leader and Congress group leader in BMC said, “We are not able to carry out citizens’ work in our areas. When we approach the BMC ward officers regarding work, they get only a little bit done. The BMC is spending money on Mumbai beautification, but the administration has stopped work on the local level.”
“I had written several letters to the ward office. Now small work like repairs of toilets and gutters are being done but major works have been stopped. We need Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for the constituency, but the BMC administration agrees to spend only Rs 10 to 12 lakh in response to our letters. It is not sufficient,” Raja added.
BJP corporator and standing committee member Vinod Mishra said, “Now, public work is at the mercy of BMC administration. They rarely pay heed to our issues, at times they totally ignore us. Earlier, we had a platform to voice our concern in the form of meetings including standing committees and Mahasabha and Prabhag samiti meetings. Now we can't.”
Former Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeswar Shivsena Corporator said, “We Shiv-sainiks are working on grass root level. We get our work done through ward officers. Now, we don't have any money to spend on development works like helping poor women and unemployed youths in our area. We used to distribute laptops to students but we can't distribute them now. Many repairs are still pending in our area."
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