The 15th board meeting of Patna Municipal Corporation was cancelled on Monday following protests by a few ward councillors against the commissioner’s alleged “pick-and-choose policy on granting funds” to them.
However, commissioner Kuldeep Narayan tried to defend himself saying that he was not responsible if some councillors had been denied funds.
“We have approved funds to only those councillors who submitted their work plan to us. Only after checking their plans, we have released them funds. We also did not issue funds to those councillors after we found errors in the plans,” said Narayan.
However, the councillors were not satisfied with Narayan’s reply. Many of them said Narayan was “biased” towards a few. Mahmood Quraishi, councillor, ward No. 62, said: “We are answerable to people but what can we do if we don’t get grants? We were to get Rs 5-15 lakh for carrying out different development works in our wards but many of us, including me, have not got a penny. The commissioner is quite biased.”
Mayor Afzal Imam also alleged that the commissioner was stalling development works. “Funds meant for development work in various wards have not been released by the PMC commissioner. It shows he does not want smooth functioning of the PMC,” he alleged.
Report study prod
A divisional bench of Patna High Court has directed the urban development department to study the M. Prasada Rao Committee report prepared in 2011 for inter-alia staff rationalisation of the greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and also the Bikash Chandra Basu Committee report set up by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation in June 2012 for review and suggestions on reorganisation and restructuring of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation before preparing its own report for restructuring of the Patna Municipal Corporation.
In its latest order, the court recalled that they had directed the urban development secretary to constitute an expert committee for examining the rationalisation and restructuring of the staff strength and pattern of the municipal corporation to enhance its efficiency and output as a public body.
However, an affidavit was filed by an officer subordinate to the secretary. The court expressed severe disappointment with the approach and attitude of the urban development department and stated that the enclosures were merely minutes of the meeting acknowledging the existence of archaic posts and need to do away with them.