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Poor plan fund utilisation to cost Kochi dearly

Going by the lacklustre attitude of the Kochi Corporation towards spending the plan fund, it seems the city residents would lose developments worth `73.54 crore in the current fiscal.

Published: 13th March 2017 01:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2017 02:12 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Going by the lacklustre attitude of the Kochi Corporation towards spending the plan fund, it seems the city residents would lose developments worth `73.54 crore in the current fiscal.
The plan expenditure report available with the District Planning Office shows the Corporation has spent only `19.68 crore from the total outlay of `93.22 crore in 2016-17. The balance amount would get lapsed if the civic body fails to spend it before March 31.

“Though we had reminded the ruling council repeatedly about the delay in implementing various projects, no concrete measures were adopted. The Mayor seems to be not bothered about the pending projects, and we are about to lose developments worth several crores due to the pathetic administration,” alleged K J Antony, leader of Opposition in the Corporation council.
When it comes to project implementation, Kochi lags far behind the other corporations in the state. Statistics show the Kannur Corporation tops the list with 36.18 per cent project implementation. The Kochi Corporation, which has spent only 21.1 per cent of the total outlay, is in the last position.
“Developmental activities will pick up momentum in the coming days, as several projects are nearing the execution phase. Some of the projects, such as the construction of jhankar, are yet to be included in the expenditure report. I am sure the Corporation will not lose such a huge amount,” said the works standing committee chairperson.

Meanwhile, the other local bodies in the district alleged that certain policies of the government had caused delay in the implementation of various projects.
“The election code of conduct dealt a big blow to us as no project could be implemented for around three months,” said Asha Sanil, president of the district panchayat, which stands second in the expenditure report.   When contacted, district planning officer  Saly Joseph said it was up to the government to take a final decision on ‘freezing’ the  the amounts allotted to local bodies for the current fiscal. “The government may consider the unspent amount for spillover projects,” she said.

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