MMC lacks collective will to utilise special grant special grant


Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has been asking for more funds from the government even as the one-time grant of Rs 3 crore, sanctioned to the municipality in commemoration of golden jubilee of Goa’s Liberation by the erstwhile government, remains unutilised for the last 13 months.
The erstwhile government had sanctioned Rs 3 crore to the municipality for a signature project, however, the chairperson and councillors are yet to initiate any project for utilisation of the grant. This shows that MMC councillors and the chairperson lack collective will to utilise the fund for a project which could also generate revenue for the civic body.  
MMC chairperson, Mr Arthur D’Silva and vice-chairperson, Ms Pratima Coutinho had no satisfactory answers to the delay caused in utilising the fund. 
The chairperson, Mr D’Silva said that there was no consensus on the issue since he took over and that things were further delayed due to assembly election.
He said thereafter the councillors resolved to equally divide the fund — ` 15 lakh each — for ward-wise development as MMC could not identify land for a signature project. “The proposal was forwarded to the Director of Municipal Administration (DMA) for approval. The file was stuck with DMA for few months. The same file has been now sent to the office of PWD for approval,” he stated.
“Most of the councillors have proposed to develop open spaces into recreation centre cum children parks, improvement of local markets etc,” he stated hoping that PWD would clear the file at the earliest.
Vice-chairperson, Ms Coutinho alleged that DMA office caused inordinate delay in giving approvals. “Since the government changed the decision and informed that the fund can be utilised for any developmental work, the process is now gathering speed,” she added.
A two-time councillor, Mr Sadanand Naik blamed government departments for causing delay in clearing the file of proposed developmental projects.    [NT]