The latest council resolution document available online was passed in March 2020, before the outbreak of COVID and in the past one year, the civic body spent several crores of rupees in the fight against the pandemic and documents for these are not in public domain. As per data, the civic body spent around Rs. 400 crore between the outbreak of the disease and July 2020.
Earlier, when the elected council was in place, resolutions would be made public on the same day when they were passed in the council meeting and uploaded to the Corporation website.
“The Corporation is keeping all details secret. They do not respond to RI queries either. Each zone spent Rs 100 crore for COVID works. But there is no transparency in the spending,” M Subramanian, former Chennai Mayor, said. According to the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 no works, minor or major, can be implemented without council resolution. The resolutions are legally valid documents and could be accepted as evidence in the court of law.
However, a Corporation official said that there is no mandate in the Act to upload the resolutions on the website and added that the civic body does so only to keep the people informed. “If citizens require a copy of any resolution, they should pay Rs 100 for the copy. It would cost more than Rs 10,000 if anyone needs entire resolutions of any month as around 100 resolutions are being passed every month,” the official said.
Ahead of elections, Corpn expedites works, floats 450 tenders
With the TN Assembly elections around the corner, the Greater Chennai Corporation expedited civil works and floated more than 450 tenders in a few weeks between January 7 and February 20. Most tenders pertain to restoration of road cuts, repairing the damaged roads, stormwater drain works and others. “Once the election dates are announced, we cannot float tenders. If orders are issued before election dates, works can continue,” a Corporation official said.
The civic body has also instructed contractors who had received orders already to commence the work immediately. Apart from the new projects, the civic body is gearing up to throw open several projects that have been completed before MCC comes into effect. “Process of handing over the conservancy works to a private firm in the remaining four zones has also been completed. Discussions were held to conduct the inauguration of such projects and we are awaiting the dates of the CM,” the official said.