Civic plans stand still

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  • Published 16.06.11

Patna, June 15: The differences between the civic body’s standing committee and its officers have stalled several projects aimed at developing the city.

Sources in the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) said the standing committee had approved at least 40 proposals in the past two months but hardly any of them have seen the light of the day.

“We have been holding meetings almost every week to discuss important civic issues. But the PMC administrative officials do not take our decisions seriously. As a result, none of them are followed. This is in gross violation of the norms and regulations,” Vinay Kumar Pappu, the deputy mayor and a member of the committee, said.

Echoing similar views, mayor Afzal Imam said the biggest example was the committee’s repeated instruction to allow private firm A2Z Infrastructure Limited to carry out waste collection from the entire corporation area.

“The officials have been dilly-dallying with the matter without any valid reason. They have not paid the company despite availing its services on nine streets and at 10 wards of the city for over a year now. This is an example of blatant ignorance of the committee’s decisions,” he said.

The first meeting of the committee under the chairmanship of the mayor was held in the first week of April. The panel members had then expressed hope that the civic works would be expedited.

“According to the rules, civic proposals are first passed by the committee and then presented in the corporation board for approval. Some proposals, which can be implemented using the corporation’s internal funds, can be directly executed by the officials. We have been giving a go-ahead to proposals like bringing down the illegal hoardings, covering up the open manholes, releasing Rs 15 lakh each in all 72 wards for development works and penalising the owners of illegal mobile towers. However, none of these proposals have been executed by the officials yet,” said another senior committee member.

A member of the committee, Sanjay Kumar Singh, had even put in his papers against the officials’ apathy. The mayor rejected his resignation.

“His resignation proves the frustration of the committee members and the councillors,” Imam said.

Senior officials in the corporation defended themselves, saying the schemes and proposals take time to get implemented.

“These are procedural matters which will take time to execute. Besides, there is no denying the fact that the resources of the PMC are limited and we have to work within whatever we have,” a senior PMC official said.

The sources said the present committee came into existence after the Supreme Court upheld the mayor’s decision in March this year to form a new empowered standing committee. Imam had earlier challenged the state government’s decision to continue with the panel appointed by the previous mayor Sanjay Kumar in the Patna High Court, which had upheld the government’s decision. Imam had then moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s decision.