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Cong boycotts council meet

Cuttack, Aug. 29: The Congress councillors today have boycotted proceedings of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation council meeting.

The councillors alleged that no development work was being carried out in their respective wards. Eight of the councillors wore black badges and boycotted the proceedings.

“Thirty months have already passed. However, the corporation officials are not paying heed to our demands. Though we have brought such issues to notice of the city mayor, no step is being taken in this regard,” said councillor of ward No. 32 Dharmanand Patra.

Patra said the corporation had become a centre for corruption as funds were being embezzled in the name of beautification of the city. Similarly, no step was being taken towards collection of holding tax which had been stagnant at Rs 22 lakh to Rs 23 lakh while around Rs 5 crore was being collected as tax by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

Moreover, the Congress councillors are not getting adequate funds in comparison to the BJD councillors to execute various development works in their respective wards.

“More than Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore have been spent in each ward of the BJD councillors, whereas the total expenditure in our wards is less than Rs 30 lakh. Out of the total amount, only Rs 12.50 lakh have been utilised in various development works in my ward,” said Patra.

Out of 54 members of the council, the BJD has the majority with 37 councillors, followed by the Congress with eight and the BJP with two seats. Mayor Saumendra Ghose, on the other hand, has turned down such allegations levelled by the Opposition councillors.

“The allegations levelled by the Congress councillors are completely baseless as the development works have been carried out more in the eight Congress wards compared to the BJD wards where only Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh have been spent,” said Ghose.

According to Ghose, the corporation is carrying out welfare projects as per the needs and around Rs 30 lakh have been distributed in three phases for all the 54 wards.

Similarly, the funds under the 13th finance commission had also been equally distributed and there was no disparity at all, Ghose said.

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