| Kirti Azad |
Kirti Azad failed to get an allotment of about Rs 12 crore from the Centre till January this year because several approved projects under the MPLAD had remained unfinished.
Out of 149 approved development schemes, the district administration has completed only 20 in Darbhanga, about 165km northeast of Patna.
The Union government allocated about Rs 7.15 crore in the past three years meant for the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) in Darbhanga parliamentary constituency. But the district administration utilised only Rs 3.28 crore till date.
The BJP MP has to submit the fund utilisation certificate before the Union government to get another allotment. The unutilised money is lying in the accounts of various executive engineers of the district. Since the district administration has not utilised the allotted funds yet, the Centre has not released Rs 12.3 crore, scheduled to reach the district by January 2013.
District planning officer Kamlesh Kumar Verma said: “Because of negligence of local working agencies, several projects were delayed while the previous officials were slow too. In the past fortnight since I joined the office here, work has been expedited. The development projects in the town and its adjacent areas are taking place while we are trying to improve the situation. Money is not lying in our account but in respective engineers’ accounts.”
Azad said: “We fail to get the next allotment as we have not received funds utilisation certificate yet that is needed for further allotment by the government. The MPLAD norms stipulate that development work should have been completed within 75 days, while the projects remained incomplete because of the state government’s negligence. The district administration takes much time to prepare a scheme’s DPR, its tendering, selection of place or keeping tab on work, delaying the work.”
He added: “Bihar is the most backward state in terms of MP funds utilisation as it has utilised only 15 per cent of the allotted funds, while 45 per cent money is lying in officials’ accounts.”