Wednesday, January 13, 2010

[rti_india] RTI audit: ex-corporator exposed on spend


RTI audit: ex-corporator exposed on spend




It's the usual thing: office-holders claim that crores of rupees have been spent on developmental works, while residents wonder where the money has gone, and complain of a lack of amenities.

Now tired of complaining, some residents have also taken on the task of auditing the works in their wards before the elections. According to an RTI reply to the status of works in Padmanabhanagar, a long list of projects were marked as completed. But the residents said that a physical survey showed a majority of them were still in progress. Worse, some of them were still in the initial stages!

The Residents Welfare Association (RWAs) of Padmanabhanagar had accessed the information through RTI. The details of the projects executed between April 1, 2001 and November 30, 2006 — the five-year tenure of the previous corporator — were obtained. There were 79 projects in all, like construction of retaining walls, improvement of drains, culverts and concrete lanes.

N S Mukunda of the Citizen's Action Forum and a member of the Padmanabhanagar RWA said: "Our previous corporator told us that in his five-year tenure, he had got Rs 60 crore of work done in our ward. When we verified the fact through an RTI query, we learnt that the total worth of projects done was only worth Rs 4.62 crore.''

 More shocking was that several of those works marked as complete were in reality in the initial stages. According to the document, many of the works did not have any estimation, while others were supposedly completed, but it was not true.

Mukunda says if the corporator of any ward is really serious about developmental work, it can be done without any party support.



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