THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It appears that the uncertainty over waste management in the city has thrown the Annual Plan exercise of the City Corporation also into mayhem. It was a significant Council meeting to approve the beneficiary list under various projects and sectors, which adds up a majority spending in the Annual Plan, that got disrupted on Thursday and was drowned in protests over garbage. The delay in approving the list would only cause the Plan implementation to lag further.
According to the Plan Progress Report (for 2011-12) that was reviewed by the Chief Minister and Planning Board Vice-Chairman at a meeting held on Thursday, the City Corporation’s expenditure till December 3, 2011, on the total development fund outlay of Rs 86.06 crore is only Rs 2.78 crore. The Corporation officials, however, point to the general trend of spending by the local bodies during this fiscal, which has only touched 24 per cent so far.
The total Plan Fund of the Corporation is Rs 103.22 crore, while the Own Fund is Rs 27 crore, maintenance grant Rs 11.71 crore, non-road grant Rs 8.31 crore and the rest from Central grants and beneficiary shares, making it a total of Rs 250 crore.
Around 45 per cent of spending is with regard to various beneficiary-based projects in agriculture, fisheries and animal husbandry. Many of the projects were approved only last month by the DPC (District Planning Committee), following which the ward committees had met and chosen the beneficiaries. The Council meeting on Thursday was supposed to approve the list which, however, did not happen.
"Already, the garbage issue was affecting our Plan process with the Mayor and a whole bunch of her team dedicating all their time and energy on sorting out waste-related issues. The absence of a Plan Coordinator was another hurdle and the delay in getting the Plans approved by the DPC yet another. In total, the Annual Plan implementation has suffered a lot. If the Council too gets disrupted, then our Plan exercise would only get further affected,’’ said a top official of the Corporation.
While the officials are pinning their hopes on a possible stretching of the deadline of the Annual Plan implementation by the State Government as it happens to be the end of a Five-Year Plan period, it would only be a breather and not a solution.