Panskura (East Midnapore), Sept. 3: The councillors of Panskura municipality, formed for the first time in May, feel hampered in fulfilling their obligations as the civic body does not have a building of its own and is also short of staff.
CPM chairman of Panskura municipality Omar Ali is now holding office in a room allotted in the block development office building in Balidangri area.
Elections to the civic body were held on May 26 and councillors of the Left Front, which had captured 12 of the 17 municipal wards, constituted the board on June 8. However, the board has not been able to function since then because of the inordinate delay in recruiting employees to the civic body. Only one peon has been recruited — on an ad hoc basis for the chairman’s office — to help Ali in his work.
A hapless board chairman said the municipality had no authority to appoint staff independently.
“We have to depend on the local employment exchange to recruit employees. We have already informed the exchange about our needs and are yet to receive candidates recommended by it,” said Ali.
“After interviews, the list of selected candidates will be placed before the state municipal services department at Writers’ Buildings for approval. The process will take at least three months,” explained the chairman.
Most municipalities in the state are not performing well because of the dearth of funds. But not the Panskura civic body. The new municipality has a deposit of Rs 86 lakh in addition to the Rs 5 lakh given to it by the government to construct its own building, revealed Ali.
The Centre has also sanctioned Rs 5 crore to the municipality to take up its Integrated Development for Small and Medium Towns schemes during the current fiscal year.
Of the municipality’s 17 wards, 12 — in the rural areas adjoining the town — do not have metalled roads, drainage , tap water facilities or even electricity.
“I have constituted ward committees to take up these jobs on a priority basis. We have funds to provide some basic amenities to rate payers. But I am sitting idle here as my municipality has no staff to help complete the schemes,” Ali said.
Haldia toll: The number of dead in yesterday’s Haldia shooting spree went up to two with Tapan Mondal, 28, succumbing to injuries today.
His neighbour Uttam Das had fired from a 12-bore gun yesterday following an argument with his cousin. Uttam’s mother and wife Ruma were arrested today.