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Rural development projects at a standstill

Staff Reporter

"Government making a mockery of Rural Development Board"

NEW DELHI: Accusing the Delhi Government of being guided by bureaucratic pressures in running its day-to-day affairs, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Saket, Vijay Jolly, has described the Rural Development Board as a defunct body that had failed to perform its functions of improving the infrastructure, environment and changing the face of rural and urban villages of the Capital.

Accusing the Government of making a mockery of the Board under the leadership of the Member of Parliament from Outer Delhi, Sajjan Kumar, the BJP leader said the schemes cleared during the meeting of the Board in November last year were yet to take off.

The funds earmarked for various projects had either not been released or were lying unutilised for some strange reason, he said. "The Rural Development Board was not able to spend Rs. 10 crores of its budgetary allocation during 2004-05."

Mr. Jolly said the poor condition of the roads and drainage system in rural Delhi was a story in itself and the people of rural areas were living under inhuman conditions after the onset of the monsoon.

Mr. Jolly said while on the one hand the Chief Minister spoke of making Delhi a world-class city, on the other people were still dying by falling into manholes.

Stating that things were very bad in Devli village of his constituency due to water-logging and poor sanitation conditions, Mr. Jolly said in December last year, two children had fallen into the manhole in the area and died.

"The MCD had promised to put things in place but till date no action has been taken. Now the MCD Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, has promised to complete the necessary work by December this year. It is an unfortunate situation where the Board has been rendered non-functional by the over-dominant bureaucracy and the files pertaining to various projects hardly move without the consent of the Chief Minister that comes at a very slow pace."

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