Belagavi Cantonment Board seeks funds from State government for development camp area


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Published: 30/06/2018

by www.belgaumonline.com

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Members of the Cantonment Board of Belagavi have appealed to the State government to release funds for the development of the area within the city. Though the Cantonment is a legal entity with its own elected administrative body, it is not considered a part of the 218 urban local bodies in the State. This is one of the reasons it does not receive funds regularly under the State Finance Commission allocations. The State government was providing annual grants till 2012. Successive State governments have not released any funds to the board till now. A delegation, led by Sajid Sheikh, met Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi recently and asked him to resume the fund flow.

In a memorandum, it said that the board owed over Rs. 80 lakh as power bill to HESCOM. If the public sector power utility took stringent measures such as stopping power supply to the board, the daily life of people living there will be affected seriously, it added.

It also complained that since the Public Works Department does not take up work on road construction and repair inside the Cantonment, the board needs additional funds for such development works.

Mr. Sheikh told The Hindu that the State government was releasing Rs. 50 lakh annually till 2012. “Due to the regular increase in allocation under State Finance Commission grants, we should be getting around Rs. 3 crore to Rs. 4 crore per year now. This will help us not only to pay our utility bills but also to take up road repair and construction,” he said.

“We should be treated as an urban local body and supported with funds. It will help in the smooth functioning of the board,” he said. Some part of the total road length of around 65 kilometres in the Cantonment is under the supervision of the board. He said that the board has been facing financial difficulties for seven years now. The board collects a meagre amount as user fees for water supply and other amenities. Central government grants are minimal. “The board tried to introduce Octroi on commercial vehicles to add to its revenue in 2012, but the proposal was dropped. Our finances are affected now,” he said.

Established in 1832, Cantonment Board Belgaum is a category two Cantonment. The board has 14 members, half of them elected members.

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Source : TH

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