RTI reveals over 50% of ward development funds remain unutilised
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown that more than half of the funds allotted in past one decade for ward development in Chennai have not been utilized by the councillors.
The reply, provided by the Municipal Corporation of Chennai, states that a total of Rs. 259.95 crore have been allotted under Councilors’ Ward Development Fund earmarked for each councilor for infrastructure development in their respective wards.
However, the data provided in the reply shows that Rs. 139.78 crore from the allotted funds has not been spent. This implies that 53.77 per cent of total allocation remains unutilized that could have been used to improve the infrastructure of the city.
In general, the percentage utilization of ward development fund has been decreasing since 2003 i.e. from 97.61 per cent in 2003-04 to 17.83 per cent in 2012-13, the only exception being the year before 2011 council elections when 62.75 per cent of allotted funds were spent. However, the allotted amount each year for the same has been continuously increasing from Rs. 9.3 crore in 2003-04 to Rs. 60 crore in 2012-13. The fund allocation per councilor has also increased from Rs. 6 lakh in 2003-04 to Rs. 30 lakh in 2012-13.