VELLORE: The cost estimate of the Vellore Corporation’s ambitious proposal to sink new borewells and revive the existing ones is reportedly aimed at swindling a lion’s share of the fund, allocated to address the drinking water scarcity in the Forty City, according to a Communist party leader.
The officials and Councillors, cutting across partylines, are allegedly hand-in-glove in siphoning off several lakhs of rupees from the fund, instead of spending it judicially to address the problem, said CPM district secretary A Narayanan.
In a recently-held council review meeting in zone-I and IV, the Councillors had unanimously passed all resolutions placed before the council. Of them, resolutions from 1 to 29 placed in zone - I council meeting sent a shock wave. A resolution said that Rs 4.90 lakh had been sanctioned to sink and revive two borewells along with a power pump and a syntax tank. The total cost of the 29 works was estimated to the tune of Rs 1.42 crore. Private borewell companies revealed that sinking a borewell fitted with power pump and syntax tank would not exceed Rs 90,000. “We charge between Rs 80,000 and Rs 90,000 to sink a 500-foot borewell” they said. But the Corporation officials quoted Rs 72 lakh for sinking 36 borewells( Rs 2 lakh per borewell) “It is obvious that Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh per work would go to the corrupt officials and ward Councillors. The amount would be shared among everyone in the Corporation,” said Narayanan, district secretary, CPM. He demanded that officials display a board with the details of work. Similar resolutions were passed in the zone-IV council meeting held on July 23. The council passed resolutions to sink 29 new borewells and revive eight to the tune of Rs 37 lakh. Further, Rs 24.5 lakh was sanctioned to supply water in tractors to residents.
An official said, “I told the councillors that it will not be wise to instal new borewells when the existing ones were dried up. Instead of reviving them, they are sinking new borewells,” he said.
Commissioner Janaki Raveendran said,“I don’t know how they made such estimates. I will conduct a detailed inquiry into this.”