Mr Francis D’Souza, who made his maiden visit to Vasco on Thursday after being selected as Deputy Chief Minister, announced funds of Rs 7.32 crore for the Mormugao municipality.
Mr D’Souza, who was accompanied by Vasco MLA, Mr Carlos Almeida, newly-elected Mormugao Municipal Council chairperson, Ms Fiola Rego, Mormugao Planning and Development Authority chairman, Mr Krishna Salkar, MMC chief officer, Mr Agnelo Fernandes, Parish Priest of St Andrew’s Church, Fr Antonio Da Costa besides others, visited the Vaddem Lake, fish market, vegetable market, T B Cunha Chawk and other parts of the city and monitored various sites earmarked for the developmental projects.
While speaking to media, Mr D’Souza, who is also the Urban Development Minister, said that the state government has sanctioned funds of Rs 3.82 crore – developmental grants worth Rs 1.75 crore, octroi grants of Rs 1.75 crore besides funds to buy machineries like trucks, compactors, dust bins and funds to invest on collection of house to house garbage – Rs 3.82 crore, which would be received by the MMC shortly.
Mr D’Souza lamented that most of the funds allocated by the government to the MMC are not being utilised properly. Citing the case of funds of Rs 3 crore released by the then Congress government in view of Golden Jubilee celebration of Goa Liberation, he said that till date the funds have not been utilised by the council adding that the same have been deposited in a private bank and fetches a miniscule interest.
Mr D’Souza advised civic members to utilise sanctioned government funds within one year failing which the councils should not be entitled for receiving other funds. He also claimed that constant transfer of the municipal officers slows down utilisation of developmental funds.
Mr D’Souza claimed that several major developmental projects like renovation of Mormugao municipality building, beautification of Vaddem Lake, construction of vegetable and fish markets besides rehabilitation of stalls near T B Cunha Chawk is in pipeline and added that the state government is working out plans with the assistance of municipal authorities by approving, estimating and appointing consultants on these major projects.
Speaking at the Janata Vachanalaya hall, Mr D’Souza directed the MMC authorities to lay stress on collecting the outstanding recoveries amounting to several crores in order to take up developmental projects and works in the municipal jurisdiction, consisting of 20-wards.
While answering media on Shree Damodar Dev Trust land issue, he disclosed that if the land has not been utilised for public propose by the leases for three years then the state government would make sure that the lease of the land is terminated and added that the land would be made available for the public for setting up developmental project.
The Vasco MLA, Mr Carlos Almeida voiced satisfaction over the announcements made by Mr D’Souza. Earlier, MMC councilor, Mr Sharad Chopdekar put up house tax issue before the deputy Chief Minister, while Mr Saifullah Khan raised the octroi tax issue and Ms Tara Kerkar stressed on recruiting new and talented youth into the council. [NT]