Scam in park upkeep grant unearthed-Courtesy, RTI Act
Tribune News Service (Ludhiana, June 13)
While Park Management Committees (PMCs), which have been maintaining parks, are moving from pillar to post to get grant from the civic body, there are several PMCs that received money from the Municipal Corporation but their parks are in bad state.
As many as eight PMCs in the city, which have got Rs 1.66 lakh as grant during the last couple of months from the MC, have done nothing for the upkeep of parks.
The lid off this alleged scam was blown by S.S. Chana, president of the Federation of Park Management Committees after got information regarding the upkeep of parks from the MC under the RTI Act.
He was shocked to find that these PMCs were drawing the grant without maintaining the parks. These parks were in a bad shape and yet the MC had disbursed money to the PMCs without verifying any facts.
The list of the grants disbursed by the MC to various PMCs revealed that the Sahara Area Development Society, Shastri Nagar, had received Rs 56,000 from the MC since March, 2006, the City Park Welfare Society, Cheema Chowk, Rs 45, 000 since January this year, the Evergreen Environment Society, Dugri, Phase-I, got Rs 15,000 since January this year.
Similarly, the HIG Residents Welfare Society, Dugri, Phase I, were given Rs 5,000, the Ek Jot Welfare Society, Dugri, Phase- II received Rs 10,000 since January, the LIG Flats Welfare Association, the Urban Estate, Sector-32, Rs 10,000, the Management of LIG Flat Owners Association, Urban Estate, Rs 20,000, and the Jeevan Nagar Welfare Society, Haibowal Kalan, got Rs 5,000 but did not maintain the park, claimed Chana.
He added that he had the pictures of these parks to prove that not even a penny was spent on the upkeep. While demanding an inquiry into the alleged irregularity, Chana has written a letter to commissioner Vikas Partap that a senior official should be entrusted the probe or it should be handed over to an independent agency as the bills were passed by senior officials of the MC.
‘‘Is it not ironical that the MC, on the one hand, is paying grant to the PMCs which are not even maintaining the parks, on the other hand it has adopted an authoritarian attitude in refusing the arrears of grant due to the PMCs which have done excellent job? ’’ asked Chana. He is fighting a case pertaining to parks in the high court also.
Eight PMCs in the city, which have got Rs 1.66 lakh as grant during the past couple of months from the MC, have done nothing for the upkeep of parks.
The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Ludhiana Stories