Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003
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By J.S. Ifthekhar
As part of the Rs. 46-crore action plan for 2003-2004, the QQSUDA has undertaken road-cum-sewerage works in seven Assembly constituencies in the old city. It has completed 223 works costing Rs. 786.94 lakhs and another 147 works costing Rs. 723.73 lakhs. While it has made payment for Rs. 25 crores it is yet to clear bills estimated at Rs. 5 crores. With pressure from contractors mounting each day, the QQSUDA has dashed off letters to the Government to bail it out of the financial crisis.
The QQSUDA has earlier sought a special budgetary provision of Rs. 20 crores to meet public health situation in the old city in the wake of contamination of drinking water. But the Government has released only Rs. 10 crores in the first instance. After exhausting the amount, it has also spent the third quarter non-plan maintenance grant of Rs. 6.25 crores.
In a recent letter addressed to the Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration, the QQSUDA administrator, J.R. Anand, has requested for early release of Rs. 10 crores from the supplementary budgetary grants towards payment for works already completed.
This is not all. The QQSUDA is also under pressure to clear an old debt. It is yet to pay a sum of Rs. 1.86 crores for the works carried out during the 9th Janmabhoomi in July 1999. Works estimated at Rs. 14 crores have been done during this Janmabhoomi through DWCRA Mahila groups in bastis. While more than Rs. 11 crores has been paid, still Rs. 1.86 crore is pending. Though the QQSUDA has written several letters to the Government for release of grant to clear the pending dues, there has been no response.
On the contrary, the Municipal Administration and the Urban Development Department has recently ordered an inquiry to find out whether the road and drainage works have actually been done or not. Engineers of the MCH and the HMWSSB have been asked to probe the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anand is a harassed man. Though he was not the administrator during the 9th Janmabhoomi works, he is now facing the music. Aggrieved contractors are exerting pressure on him to clear the bills. Recently, about 100 of them stormed into his office and some of them allegedly threatened to commit suicide and take legal action if their dues were not cleared immediately.
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