SILCHAR, April 29: The budget for the year 2015-16 was passed amidst turmoil, in Silchar municipal board recently.
The total allocated budget for the year is Rs.37 crore 47 lakh and 62 thousand and 771 rupees. In the budget special focus has been given towards the improvement of roads and draige of the town and also towards the potable water facilities of the area.
The Congress ward commissioners have taken a critical stand over the matter. Though, as many as 8 Congress ward commissioners attended the meeting of the budget presentation, who later walked out.
Alak Kar, a Congress ward commissioner, expressed his anger and resentment as they did not receive any draft copy beforehand of the possible budget. So they had no idea regarding the finer details of the budget.
But, as the meeting started, the municipal chairman Niharendra rayan Thakur requested them to extend their support to pass the budget.
Alok Kar complained that as a convention a minimum of 7 days is given before the due date of budget presentation to eble the commissioners to judge the pros and cons and also give their valuable inputs regarding the budget. But this time, quite surprisingly, they were given only 3 days notice and moreover no draft copy was provided along with it.
Alok Kar alleged that the chairman of the Board is not giving proper importance and time to the Congress ward commissioners and he is just trying to impose his own dictum which shows the autocratic approach of the present ruling body of Silchar municipal board. He also told that if people of all the 28 wards of Silchar suffer as a result of the highhandedness of the chairman then he himself would be held responsible for any misdeeds.
Besides, there might be many shortcomings in the budget, so before giving consent to it, the ward commissioners needed to study it thoroughly. Amongst others ward commissioners Jayati Bhattacharjee, Sarbani Das, Nutan Saha and ncy Das also expressed their dissatisfaction over the budget episode. They declared firmly that it goes against the interest of the people and the chairman of the Board should be made answerable for the mess.
Alok Kar also raised the issue of the chairman’s refusal to allow a Congress ward commissioner-Tamal Banik to take oath on Monday.
Tamal Banik said that as he could not take oath on the day of oath taking ceremony, he wrote a letter to the chairman requesting him for allowing him to take oath on April 18, but he is yet to receive a response from the chairman. Yet, for the greater interests of the people of Silchar, he said that he had gone to attend the meeting, but, once again he was rebuffed by the chairman from taking oath. After
Tamal Banik staged a walkout along with other Congress ward commissioners. The Congress activist Saibal Datta accused the chairman of behaving as a dictator, who has no respect for democracy.
Niharendra rayan Thakur has clarified his steps saying that the budget had to be sent to Dispur before February 28 as it was not done due to the ongoing municipal elections, it could not be sent to the concerned authorities within March 31. If the budget is not sent to the commissioner’s office within April 30, then the present municipal body will face monetary constraints. As the present body took charge of the Board on April 2, they tried their best to prepare the budget within the stipulated time of only 25 days.
Thakur further stated, the employees of the Board worked day and night round the clock to prepare the budget so that the situation which could have arisen out of fincial constraints be averted. Regarding the ‘walkout’ of Congress ward commissioners, he commented that they did not know the meaning of the term ‘walkout’ as mere coming and going out of the meeting is not considered as ‘walkout’. Regarding the oath taking ceremony of Tamal Banik, he said as the urgent meeting was called upon to discuss the budget as a single point agenda thus other matters like oath taking of Tamal Banik could not be discussed on the day.