MC seeks budget allocation for the underpasses
Chandigarh: The decade-old project of constructing two underpasses to ease traffic congestion at the ISBT, Sector 17 crossing and Aroma light point on Himalaya Marg get a boost as the UT Administration recently transferred the projects to the Municipal Corporation.
The MC in its budget draft for 2017-18 has sought financial aid from the Centre to construct the two underpasses. Sources in the MC said the civic body had sought Rs 25 crore per underpass for the construction of underpasses in its 2017-18 budget.
MC Commissioner Baldeo Purushartha said, “The UT has transferred the project of two underpasses to the MC recently. We have added the project in the budget draft for 2017-18 and invited suggestions and objections. A copy of the draft has been provided to all the councillors, FOSWAC and the Beopar Mandal. The two underpasses will now be constructed by the MC.”
The two underpasses were proposed in 2007. The UT Administration had allocated the construction of the underpasses to the Chandigarh Housing Board. In the same year, a three-officer team was sent on a study tour to Belgium by spending Rs 10 lakh.
In 2009, the CHB submitted the report after spending Rs 1 crore and in February 2012, the Centre released a grant of Rs 5 crore for the project, but it was put on the back burner.
Since then, after several twists and turns, it was in July 2015 that the MC sent to the administration a proposal for the construction of eight underpasses. The administration had then rejected six proposals and kept two pending.
Chandigarh’s architect Le Corbusier had given a four-phase development plan to cope with the growing traffic. In the first phase, the city was to have roundabouts, in the second phase it was to cater to slip roads, the third phase would entail having underpasses and in the fourth phase the city would have overpasses.
MC spent only 17% of funds till December 31
No new project in proposed MC budget for 2017-18
The Municipal Corporation has failed to bring any new project in the proposed annual budget for 2017-18. The draft budget proposal will be first approved by the Finance and Contract Committee and then by the general house for the final approval.
Official records reveal that the MC spent only 17% of the total funds allocated to it under the plan head for 2016-17 till December 31. Sources in the MC said that till December 31, the MC has spent only Rs 100 crore against an allocation of Rs 572 crore under the plan head. The plan head includes expenditure that is meant to create new infrastructure and capital assets.
The next fiscal’s proposals make no provision for significant amenities for the destitute, afforestation or shelters for stray animals.
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