Infra in shambles but 5000cr lying unspent with HUDA

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GURGAON: Over Rs 5,000 crore is lying unspent in the coffers of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, an RTI query has revealed, even as the city cries for basic public infrastructure like streetlights, footpaths, water and roads.

The authority’s reluctance to spend is baffling because the city generates maximum revenue for it and is the hub of commercial activity in both Haryana and NCR. To give an indication of the amount of infrastructure progress that can be achieved with a sum as large as this, sample this – the proposed Delhi Metro line from Dwarka to Iffco Chowk is to be built in about half the amount that HUDA hasn’t spent.

In an election year, the money, if not utilized in Millennium City, is likely to be spent on developing other places like Rohtak and Palwal.

In its reply to the RTI query filed by activist Aseem Takyar, HUDA said it earned over Rs 10,000 crore till June last year as external development charge (EDC) but spent less than half of it in developing its area. “The HUDA areas are lying in a state of neglect. However, despite having thousands of crores, HUDA is not willing to spend this money on developing these areas. All this revenue has been generated by Gurgaon but gets spent on developing other places in the state while residents here suffer,” Takyar said on Tuesday.

He added, “This is precisely why we need a Gurgaon Development Authority that can ensure the money that earned from here is spent here. There is a clear lack of administration and the residents of private builder areas are the worst sufferers. On one side, they have to shell out EDC, and on the other, they have to pay tax to the MCG as well. Industrialists in Udyog Vihar, too, have to bear the brunt as HSIIDC (the industry body) also demands EDC from them.”

The RTI reply also states that HUDA has spent Rs 8 crore in purchasing advance fire-fighting equipment. However, the fire-fighting service currently handled by the MCG.

HUDA authorities said they were not able to spend the money as development projects must be “planned”, “sanctioned” and “awarded”. “It is not totally true that whatever money that gets generated in Gurgaon is spent on developing other places in the state. The fact is that it does take time to plan and execute things and whatever money is there with us will not go waste. It will remain with us and we will spend it as and when we get the necessary sanctions. We are developing new sectors in Gurgaon and we will definitely need this money in the days to come,” said a senior HUDA official.


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