Prior to civic elections, it is a setback for the ruling alliance giving excuses that they were restricted by governing rules to carry out developmental work. The Free Press Journal is in possession of the circular issued by the Government of Maharashtra which states the norms for the councilors to spend their funds in various sections of their constituency.
The circular dated February 26, 2001 states that the councilors can spend on minor nullahs, minor bridges, drainage lines, repairing and rebuilding toilets, repairing of footbridges, laying water pipelines, building gymnasiums, minor repairs of civic schools, repairing minor works of crematoriums etc.
This circular clearly establishes that the councilors are given enough leeway to carry out developmental work; however, the councilors are unable to utilize their funds as they are railing to spend on civic work in their wards.
As reported on November 3, till 2016, the councilors were given only Rs 60 lakh for civic work in their areas. It was increased by one crore after the councilors demanded an increase. Today this corpus fund is a total of Rs 363 crore.
Pravin Chheda, Leader of the Opposition (Congress) in the civic body, has emerged as the highest spending councilor from the opposition leaders with an expenditure of Rs 78 lakh. “The Shiv Sena party that rules the civic body is spending only on penguins. This project is already run into problems, while they have no will to spend money on the citizens who have elected them.”
Yashodhar Phanse, standing committee chairman and Sena councilor, previously claimed that the councilors are restricted to carry out all developmental work; however, Phanse has managed to spend Rs 62 lakh.
Trushna Vishwasrao, Sena leader in the civic body, said, “I spend every penny for the citizens. I have been doing this since years;” adding, “Many officials from the ward office delay my files which make it more difficult for me to complete my work in time,” she said.
The Free Press Journal had reported on November 3 that the richest civic body in the country has councilors that have wasted taxpayers Rs 212 crore from their councilor funds.