Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday asked civic agencies across the country to become self-sufficient by devising new ways to generate revenue, putting the focus back on the tussle for funds between municipal corporations in the capital and the Delhi government.
The cash-starved municipal corporations are left with no option but to press for funds from the Delhi government.
Though clamouring for funds from the city government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Ravinder Gupta said the civic agency respects the minister’s suggestion. “We are doing everything in our capacity to generate revenue and carry out obligatory functions. But we are demanding what is rightfully ours,” said Gupta. “We can’t function without funds.”
Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday that civic agencies should indulge in innovative projects like biogas, waste-to-energy conversion, biofuels and treated sewerage water to boost revenue manifold. “It will help them to become self-sufficient and carry out their functions with more ease,” Gadkari said at the opening of the 47th annual session of the All India Council of Mayors (AICM) at the Civic Centre here.
Delhi hosted the AICM meeting that included 40 mayors across the country as well as three mayors of the BJP-ruled municipal corporations. Gadkari said civic agencies should not seek funds from outside. “If they are implementing innovative programmes and policies, then there is no need to seek funds from anybody,” he said.
The minister said the headquarters of the North Corporation and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the Civic Centre has helipads on its roof “which can add to the existing sources of revenue”.
The north civic agency chairman Mohan Bhardwaj said that the Civic Centre has two helipads but they have not been used so far. “For security reasons they haven’t been used. But we are mulling ways of using them now,” he added.
Paucity of funds had caused a huge strike by sanitation workers a few months ago with heaps of garbage was piled on the roads throwing traffic out of gear.