Kochi: Corp lags in fund use

Only 21 per cent of plan fund utilised this financial year.

KOCHI: The strict guidelines of the local self-government department on timely and effective utilisation of annual Plan fund allocation notwithstanding, the Kochi corporation spent only 21.53 per cent of the funds so far. With only four months left for the fiscal to end, the corporation has to expedite the projects unless which major chunk of the funds will get lapsed. As per the state government directive, 75 per cent of the Plan funds should be utilised by December.

The civic body has 1515 projects worth Rs 210 crore for the 2019-20 fiscal including 990 new works and 525 spill-over works. Only 343 of them have been completed fully or partially as on November 15.

There are 1339 projects including 791 new and 475 spillover works in the engineering projects category. Of them tenders were invited for 708 projects while work order has been given for 355 projects.

Corporation development standing committee chairperson Gracy Joseph told DC that the poor Plan fund expenditure is due to the treasury restrictions. "Bills worth more than Rs 25 crore are pending with treasury,' she said. "Only those bills worth less than Rs 5 lakhs are being cleared now. Most of the civic works are worth Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 1 crore which cannot be encashed due to treasury curbs."

Minister for local self government A.C. Moideen had last years rapped the corporation authorities for the failure in implementation of Plan fund projects. V.P Chandran, CPM councillor and LDF parliamentary party leader, alleged that the UDF leadership wastes time on factional feuds, resulting in huge backlog of works.

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