Published On : Sat, Aug 10th, 2019

Extravagant spending on non-essential activities spells doom for cash-starved NMC

NMC headquarters

Nagpur: “If you don’t have any good idea, you are likely to waste money if it’s given to you! If you don’t have an idea, you can’t even know how much money you need… This is because; it’s your ideas that give you the cost to pay!”

The words aptly fits the affairs being run by cash-starved Nagpur Municipal Corporation. Since the past many years, the finances of the civic body are looking up the bottom of barrel. The local body is anyhow running its affairs solely depending on government grants. But surprisingly, instead of boosting its main sources of revenue, NMC has been spending money on ‘not-so-useful’ things such as sporting events, cultural programmes, sponsorships, hiring machines/vehicles, partnerships in not so gainful projects, and so on. This unmindful expenditure is denting coffers of the cash-strapped NMC for no good.

The financial crisis started gripping the Nagpur Municipal Corporation when it started privatising one department or another in haphazard manner. Today, almost every department is being run by one contractor agency or another. Despite retirement of average 30-40 employees every month since past three years, no new recruitment is being done to fill up the vacancies on regular basis. The civic body has adopted contractual system that too by appointing retired employees. These retirees have been pocketing hefty salaries at the cost of no work.

Furthermore, well aware of the money crunch, the NMC is going ahead in partnership deals in state/national level projects worth crores. Thus spelling doom the civic body whose finances are sinking with every passing day. Moreover, priority is being accorded to rental system instead of investing once for all. To make it worse, the civic body has been nonchalantly organising sporting or cultural events every year without giving a thought the financial condition staring at its face. If the NMC administration and office bearers curb the these non-essential activities, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation can achieve its budget targets and provide more and more basic, qualitative amenities to citizens.

But to run the affairs of a local body, the administration and office-bearers must have foresight or vision outstanding results. Lack of foresight or vision is spelling doom for Nagpur Municipal Corporation and the crisis is reaching alarming proportions with every passing day.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )