Kochi: With just four months left for the fiscal year to end and despite the strict warning from local self-government minister, the Kochi Corporation lags much behind in Plan fund utilisation.
The civic body could spend only 33 per cent of the annual allocation so far. Though the state government has strictly instructed that all civic bodies should utilise 70 per cent of the Plan funds by December, the Corporation will not be able to achieve it.
The Plan fund will get lapsed, if the works, including roads, drains, and other maintenance works, are not completed before March 31 since the unused funds will not carry forward as per the government’s new policy.
Nearly 30 civil works have not yet received the technical sanction, and if the works are abandoned, the civic body will lapse almost Rs 4 crore.
“The corporation is racing against the deadline of March 31 with hundreds of civil works to be executed including the spillover works of 2017-18, works of the current fiscal and also the preparatory works of 2019-20. If the project proposals for the next fiscal are not submitted to the district planning cell before December 31, the corporation will be in real trouble,” said Gracy Joseph, development committee chairperson.
Meanwhile, delay in getting funds from the Finance Commission has also affected the progress of Plan works.
“The corporation which should get Rs 46 crore from the Commission has received only Rs 15 crore so far. The bills submitted by the contractors are not getting cleared due to lack of funds. Hence, they are reluctant to take works which have badly affected the Plan works,” she added.
However, the civic authorities exuded confidence over achieving utilisation of more than 75 per cent of the funds. In the last fiscal, the local body could spend 76.07 per cent of the total annual allocation.