An open drain on Purulia Road in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The fragile relationship between the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) CEO and deputy mayor is fast spilling over to the brittle streets maintained by the civic body.
For, tenders for constructing new roads and building a sewerage system across 55 wards are yet to be floated despite urban development department allocating Rs 6.97 crore to the RMC in January.
This amount needs to be utilised in the current fiscal, ending on March 31, failing which the funds will go back.
With less than 40 days remaining in 2013-14 financial year, deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya and CEO Manoj Kumar are busy fighting it out over funds distribution amongst councillors rather than starting the tendering process.
“Last Saturday, the corporation was likely to float tenders for road repairs and building the sewerage system across 55 wards. But a tussle over allocations for wards held up the process. Once Lok Sabha election dates are announced, we cannot take up new projects despite monsoon arriving in June,” pointed out a senior RMC official.
According to existing norms, 10 per cent of the total funds should remain with the deputy mayor and five per cent with the CEO. The remaining 85 per cent is to be distributed amongst the councillors.
But the councillors led by Vijayvargiya demanded that the entire amount be given to them and the CEO should not keep anything under “his discretionary quota”. Kumar refused and the tender process failed to take off.
The CEO later on Tuesday agreed. But Vijayvargiya and the councillors are now not ready to work under him. They met chief minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday evening and demanded Kumar be replaced.
The councillors alleged that Kumar had a habit of bringing last-minute changes in decisions taken by the board and standing committee. Further, his complex way of working was leading to revenue loss.
Mayoral poll plea
RMC CEO Manoj Kumar has written to secretary of urban development department A.K. Singh asking him to take steps for the election of mayor, a post lying vacant since April 2013 after state election commission countermanded the polls after Rs 21.90 lakh was seized from a hotel on voting day.
Sahay bail rejected
Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail petition of Sunil Sahay, an accused in the note- for-vote scam. Sunil is the brother of former Union minister Subodh Kant Saha.