KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation has come in for heavy criticism from the opposition councillors after the revenue report for May showed a deficit of Rs 10 crore. The opposition has alleged that mismanagement and failure to boost revenue resulted in the fund shortage. Opposition leader Antony Kureethara said that several projects -- including the construction of the new corporation building -- have been affected because of the inability to boost revenue. The corporation’s revenue report for May shows an expenditure of Rs 17 crore compared to an income of Rs 7 crore.
“The corporation authorities’ mismanagement has led to this situation. They fail to explore ways to enhance revenue. The corporation is in deep debt and fund shortage will affect several projects,” Kureethara said. He pointed out that an additional `40 crore is required to complete the construction of the new corporation building.
“Moreover, the corporation has to pay Rs 100 crore to the contractors. Projects related to the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant, drinking water supply project AMRUT and others will be affected due to fund shortage,” Kureethara said. He also said the government has been deducting its share spent on purchasing land for the Brahmapuram plant from the plan fund allocated to the corporation. The opposition councillors have been raising these issues with the mayor during their meetings over the past few days, Kureethara added.
Meanwhile, Mayor M Anilkumar said the financial discipline within the corporation had been disrupted for the past several years. “The council was informed about the arrears to be paid to contractors and other agencies at the very beginning of my tenure. To tackle the issue, three things have to be focused on. The first is to enhance the revenue stream of the corporation, for which we are planning a few programmes and they will be implemented soon. We also need to bring in financial discipline and recover losses in a phased manner,” the mayor said. At the same time, he said nothing can be solved overnight.