The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) had razed around 1,900 dwellings at Kalyannagar in 2014 in a phased manner. The civic body had allotted houses to the residents of Kalyannagar at various housing schemes for the urban poor in different areas of city.
Trouble, however, began when residents of Sayajipura objected to the allotment of houses to 618 families from Kalyannagar at a housing scheme there. The VMC was caught in a tight spot with Kalyannagar residents demanding houses.
In May 2015, it was decided that the 618 families will be resettled on a part of the land on which Kalyannagar once stood. The civic body even allotted work for the housing scheme.
It was also decided to give a rent of Rs 3,000 to the residents till they were allotted houses. The standing committee of the civic body passed a resolution in this regard and a public notice was also published.
But the VMC finds itself in a piquant situation again at Kalyannagar thanks to excess expenses than the approved work, made in the foundations and other items of the project.
VMC commissioner Dr Vinod Rao who had ordered an inquiry in the matter said that around Rs 70 crore of the total project cost of Rs 80 to 85 crore had already been spent on the project and only about a third of the work had been completed.
The VMC will have to spend almost double the project cost to complete the work. The end result is that work has come to a grinding halt with the payment of the contractor being held. VMC is looking for options to get out of the situation it finds itself in. VMC officials said that the civic body will find the burden of the extra cost unbearable and it could not be passed on to the beneficiaries too. “We are looking to find a solution to the situation,” said Rao.
The rent being given to the beneficiaries was also not disbursed for months of November, December and January. This was released only recently after representations to VMC.
Pressure is building again on the civic body with beneficiaries, activists and VMC opposition leaders coming together to hold a protest on the Kalyannagar land on Friday.
Activist Zuber Goplani said that the civic body should construct the houses at the earliest and stick to the settlement it had reached earlier.
“If this does not happen, we may also seek legal remedy,” he said.
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