MLAs redefine development by ‘misusing’ development fund
Jaipur: If you were given crores of rupees and asked to spend it – not on yourself, but on the city, what would you do? Laminate the floor of a badminton court, buy computers and furniture for an institute or help suck water out from the city’s already dark zones? ‘Development’ by the present coterie of Jaipur city’s MLAs in the name of MLA Local Area Development Scheme (MLALADS) takes on all these shades and more.
The city’s eight legislators have 38 options to choose from as per the MLALADS guidelines, but exceptions aside, they have decided to go mainly with just five - erect colony gates, build boundary walls, drill borings or tube wells, construct roads and buy computers for schools and institutes.
According to an 83-page database provided by the Zila Parishad, Jaipur district on MLALADS spending from 2008-09 to 2011-12, only three of the eight legislators in and around Jaipur city managed to spend more than half of the money sanctioned in their term. All of them were from BJP. But even amongst them, 43% (56 out of 130) works recommended by Malviya Nagar legislator Kali Charan Saraf were solely for erecting iron gates around colonies while 35 of 135 works recommended by Sanganer MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari were for park development ( boundary wall, gate, walkways and boring in parks) which has largely remained incomplete.
While Narpat Singh Rajvi has recommended only nalkoop, boring and tubewells throughout, Adarsh Nagar MLA Ashok Parnami has largely proposed only tubewells, handpumps and PVC tankas in his tenure.
Rajpal Shekhawat, BJP legislator from Jhotwara figures at the bottom of the list, with just one recommendation in his tenure so far which has got financial sanction! “I have 35 panchayats and 4 wards of the city under me, of which 3 fall in Prithviraj Nagar. The problems are so huge, and there are many impediments in getting financial sanction. First there was the court stay and then the implementing agencies take very long in sending NOCs and estimates. Without that we cannot make concrete recommendations. We have sent 14 recommendations in all so far, but will go full speed in the next 2-3 months,” he said.
The data also shows that the 2 Congress MLAs – Pratap Singh Kachariyawas (Civil Lines) and Brij Kishore Sharma (Hawa Mahal) have spent only 21% and 29% respectively of the total sanctions on works recommended by them. Kali Charan Saraf had the highest number of rejected recommendations (21%), followed by education minister Brij Kishore Sharma (10%). “We have sent other proposals in the place of rejected ones. The ones rejected were either because the beneficiaries were individuals, the guidelines were not very clear, or we had already reached the Rs 10 lakh limit for that institution,” said Kali Charan Saraf.
Not one of the MLAs have taken up any work relating to water conservation, revival of traditional water sources, desilting or sewerage works. Nor have any of them ventured into newer options included in the permissible list like setting up information gateways or citizen’s radios.