Chandigarh: Centre okays extra grant of Rs 246 crore to UT Administration

Hina Rohtaki
UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore on Friday morning called the municipal councillors after the approval. (Express Photo/File)

THE UNION government on Friday approved an additional grant of Rs 246 crore that was sought by the Chandigarh Administration in the revised estimates for the year 2019-20.

It was on Thursday evening that the UT Administration got to know that the funds have been approved. Following this, UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore on Friday morning called the municipal councillors along with UT Adviser Manoj Parida and MC Commissioner K K Yadav, and announced Rs 152 crore for the corporation.

Of these additional funds that were sought by the Chandigarh Administration, Rs 60 crore was sought for land acquisition, Rs 7 crore for transport department, Rs 21 crore for purchasing power and remaining amount for works to be carried out by the engineering department.

Confirming the development, UT Adviser Manoj Parida said, “We are thankful that Centre has approved the revised estimates we sought. Also, it has been a great help to the Municipal Corporation which was struggling with financial crisis.”

In May this year, the Chandigarh Administration had also sought Rs 580 crore from the government. Of this, Rs 100 crore was sought for power purchase and Rs 125 crore for Municipal Corporation but there was no response and hopes were dashed. Then in September revised estimates of Rs 280 crore were sent to the Centre which they approved.

This year in the interim budget for 2019-20, there was an increase of just 5 per cent in the budget (as compared to last year) when the Chandigarh Administration got Rs 4,753 crore against the demand for Rs 5,200 crore. Residents’ hopes were dashed as no new project was announced in the budget.

UT gave Rs 15 cr help to MC for roads

Much before this, the UT Administration had already announced Rs 15 crore immediate help to Municipal Corporation for road work. The Chandigarh civic body has been under severe criticism for not being able to repair roads with big craters. Commuters have been left to their own fate as they drive on deep potholed roads. Even as the Municipal Corporation has been splurging public money on trips to Leh and other areas, they had said that they do not have funds to make roads.

The corporation maintains 1,800 kilometres of roads in the city. The UT Administration’s engineering wing too maintains 1,800 kilometres of roads. The stretches falling under the civic body have been lying completely potholed for the last few months.

During the recent House meeting that took place on September 16, when the issue of road repairs came up, Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav had stated that “roads cannot be made as there are no funds with the municipal body”.