Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:
With MLAs in Odisha yet to receive funds under Local Area Development (LAD) even after lapse of a month and a half of the 2015-16 fiscal, work on several important projects are yet to take off in constituencies.
In the absence of funds, MLAs are worried on how to take up high priority development projects in their respective constituencies.
What has increased their worries manifold is the weatherman’s forecast about the onset of monsoon into the state. With the south-western monsoon all set to hit Odisha in the first week of June, many MLAs fear that monsoon will be in full swing, making any construction work impossible, by the time they get the funds and work on projects begins.
“No work can be taken up for the next three-four months. The government should realize this and sanction the funds immediately,” said one of them.
Sources in the state government said the file concerning sanction of LAD funds has been sent to the Finance department and it’s likely to get approval very soon.
It may be noted that in the last decade 80% of the MLA LAD funds have been utilized.
The state government has planned for a dedicated website in line with the website on MP LAD funds for providing information to the public on MLA LAD funds in the state. The website will have details of funds sanctioned under the LAD scheme to each MLA , amounts spent on different projects, status of the projects etc. The government will be able to track the project directly from the state secretariat. Very soon the website will be launched by the Chief Minister, sources revealed.
Each member of the Assembly, it may be noted, is allocated a corpus of Rs one crore per annum for undertaking developmental work in his/her constituency. There are specific guidelines on how the fund are to be spent.