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Fund diversion order ignites political row

Fund diversion order ignites political row
Highlights

Directions from the State government for diverting Rs 62.59 crore sanctioned under Amrut scheme, from the civic body to Nellore Urban Development...

Nellore: Directions from the State government for diverting Rs 62.59 crore sanctioned under Amrut scheme, from the civic body to Nellore Urban Development Authority (NUDA) created political turmoil among ruling party leaders.

The decision had developed a rift between followers of Mayor Abdul Aziz and the Minister Narayana. Consequently, Mayor’s group started questioning the rationality behind directions of the state government even as the Centre had clearly earmarked funds to the Civic body.

Nellore Municipal Corporation had received Rs. 45.62 crore as matching grant under Amrut scheme under 14th Finance basic grant for 2017-18 and also Rs 11.58 crore as matching grant under the same scheme for 2016-17.

Recently, the state government had issued directions to the civic body to deposit the two matching grants to AP Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APUFIDC) for the works to be taken up by NUDA. And the orders ignited internal rivalries among followers of both the Mayor and the Minister for Municipal Administration.

In fact, Minister P Narayana eyed on Nellore City constituency for contesting in the upcoming elections and has been showing utmost care on fund allocations. The Nellore Urban Development Authority came to existence in March 2017 and it has been facing severe financial crunch as state government failed to allocate funds to take up development works.

Though both City Mayor Aziz and NUDA Chairman Kotamreddy Srinivasulu Reddy are followers of Minister Narayana, Mayor suspects possible strategy to weaken the internal system of civic body.

He reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with his close followers over diverting funds from the civic body which had actually earmarked the funds for development of Nellore tank with Rs 30 crore, repairs to Storm Water Drains with Rs 82 crore and parks development with Rs 1.61 crore.

So, as part of matching grant from the Centre under AMRUT scheme Rs 37.53 crore have been sanctioned. AP government share is Rs 14.90 crore and Nellore Corporation’s share is Rs 62.59 crore. At this juncture, the state government directed the Civic body to obtain approval from the Standing Committee for fund transfer.

Moreover, Nellore Mayor Aziz is planning to contest from the city constituency and the Minister Narayan has to face tough competition to get ticket since Aziz had reportedly developed rapport with Nara Lokesh.

Mayor has strong hold among the community people in the city which would be a plus point for him. The Minister has also been focusing on city development showing special interest.

“There are some plans to slow down progress in the city limits. Just for encouraging the newly formed body, they should not dilute spirit of the civic body for political reasons,” said a Corporator.

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