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Famished AMC gives new car to political bosses Thursday, November 29, 2001
SOURCE - TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: What would you do if you are going through a lean financial phase ? Cut down on expenses and save for a rainy day?
If you're looking for an exception to this virtual thumb rule, then take a trip to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. You would find two new Maruti Esteems being washed and polished, waiting for the exalted occupants to arrive. Walk up the wooden staircases of the corporation to the various civic committee offices and you might chance upon excited chats and preparations for excursions.
Compare that with the AMC's dipping financial health and you have got the picture. While the octroi collections continue to stand at five per cent below last year's collections and property tax earnings show a bigger dip, celebrations for the political wing continue unabated. Post-Diwali these expenses could make a dent in the civic body's finances to the tune of Rs 30 - 35 lakh.
Thanks to a resolution by standing committee, deputy mayor Khemchand Solanki and chairman Badruddin Sheikh have new Esteems. Had the now much-talked about cash flow been as usual the leader of Congress and BJP, too, would have new Maruti Esteems at their disposal while yet another one would be a stand by. After all one has to consider the image of the country's oldest civic body (established in 1858).
While five such cars could cost Rs 22 lakh (the two already bought have taken Rs 11 lakh off from corporation's coffers), the recreational and cultural committee has sought Rs 5 lakh from the AMC for a trip to Ooty.
That's not all. The housing and improvement committee left on November 24 for a visit to slum quarters of Mumbai and Pune with an advance of Rs 1.5 lakh. The water supply and solid waste management committees, too, have proposed trips to Bangalore and other cities of the South, ostensibly to study systems there.
The paradox does not end there as the cash-strapped AMC has stopped payments to the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services. The municipal transport committee on Wednesday passed a proposal to demand for Rs 19 crore from the administrators of the corporation. "This amount was set aside for AMTS in the annual general budget. But, no monetary sanctions had yet been made from April," the committee stated.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]