KOCHI: The cash-strapped Kochi corporation is in a fix as the state government has deducted nearly Rs 20 crore from its annual budget allocation of Rs 56 crore for non-payment of dues various bills, including Rs 16 crore to Kerala Water Authority. With the fund cut, the civic body will not be able to implement the Plan projects worth Rs 56 crore proposed for the current fiscal.
The corporation’s total due to KWA is Rs 64 crore. “The government cut is also due to the non-payment of Rs.1.62 crore as honorarium to anganwadi workers and Rs 3.24 crore for AMRUT projects being undertaken with the support of government departments,” development committee chairperson Gracy Jospeh said during a special session on Plan Fund projects on Wednesday. “Now, the corporation has only Rs 34 crore in its kitty though projects worth Rs 56 crore have been approved by the district planning committee.” The cut will affect the maintenance of buildings, hospitals and schools, she said.
The KWA had taken over water supply in the city from the corporation in 1991. However, the local body had run up arrears amounting to Rs 90 crore due to disputes on the number of public taps and assets handed over to KWA. Later, both agencies reached on a consensus to settle the amount at Rs. 25.71 crore. But, the corporation failed to pay the amount.