labels: investments, infrastructure - general
Cochin corporation denied fund as it failed to spend earlier fundnews
Jays Jacob
26 June 2003

Kochi: The Corporation of Cochin has lost the first instalment of the plan fund for the financial year 2003-04 as it has failed to spend 75 per cent of the fund allotted during the year 2002-03.

In the last financial year, the corporation was able to spend only 49.45 per cent of the Kerala Development Fund allotted by the state government. According to the government directive, the projects, which were started before 31 March 2003, could be implemented in the current financial year as carryover works.

The plan fund of the corporation for 2002-03 was Rs 19.82 crore, which included the opening balance of the previous year, scheduled caste fund and general fund. Of this, the corporation was able to spend juts Rs 9.8 crore.

Sources say the first instalment for the last financial year was also not received by the corporation for the same reasons. However, the second instalment of Rs 5.28 crore was sanctioned. The first instalment this year also would have been sanctioned if the plan projects were executed on time.

Deputy mayor T J Vinod says several road development projects in the last financial year were not started due to the non-availability of bitumen. The government order not to provide bitumen from the Public Works Department (PWD) had led to the delay in starting the road works and thus the denial of the first instalment of the plan fund to the corporation.

The corporation had invited tenders for the road works specifying that the contractors have to purchase the bitumen on their own. The tenders we re-accepted before 31 March 2003 by the corporation but the works were not started.

In response to the civic bodies'' demand to make bitumen available by the PWD, the government had extended the date to purchase it till 30 April 2003 from the PWD. However, the corporation had accepted the tenders of the works, which included bitumen purchase by the contractor.

Re-tendering the works within a short span was not practical and this led to the contractors not being able to purchase bitumen from the PWD. The PWD sells bitumen at much lesser a price than private agencies.

Opposition leader N Venugopal says several projects prepared by the corporation were scrapped without citing any reason. "The corporation was not able to implement any projects in the agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and industry sector; this resulted in the denial of fund by the government this time."

Venugopal says around Rs 10 crore of the previous year''s fund is still left with the corporation without being able to spend it for the development activities in the city. "The corporation so far has not prepared the draft document of the projects to be undertaken in this financial year."

Meanwhile, the District Planning Committee (DPC) has not given the sanction for the draft projects prepared by the corporation to be implemented in 2003-04. The reason: They have failed to mention the sectoral allocation of funds in the project. Vinod says the corporation authorities will submit the project details soon to the DPC and there will not be any problem in executing the works for the current financial year.


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Cochin corporation denied fund as it failed to spend earlier fund