Thiruvananthapuram: Several instances of rampant misuse of public money involving city corporation staff as well as higher officials have been brought to light by an audit report. The most shocking facts are related to the use of vehicles belonging to the local body.
Though pollution check of vehicles is mandatory every six months, it was not carried out on any of the corporation vehicles during the last financial year. The local fund audit report also says records regarding filling fuel are not kept properly. Widespread rule violations are taking place in this connection. Though the log book of vehicles should be checked by the custodian officer on a regular basis and entries made, it was not done at all.
Another rule says that the fuel tank should be filled fully and the odometer reading recorded. Later, when filling full tank again, the meter reading should be noted yet again to calculate the mileage. However, none of the corporation’s vehicles have undergone the mileage test.
Log books of most vehicles have not been updated. Moreover, the rule insisting on tabulating the distance covered and fuel consumed each month has not been followed in any vehicle.
Public taps drain money
Another drain of corporation’s money involves public taps. With no inspection of taps carried out, the civic body is paying water charges for unused taps also. Shockingly, the corporation has no idea about the number of public taps under it.
Streetlights that don’t work
Though the city corporation set apart Rs 1,47,34,223 for maintenance and repair of streetlights, it failed to reach an agreement with the KSEB in this regard. As a result, no work was carried out and complaints are piling up regarding non-functioning streetlights. When councilors raise the issue, they are told by officials that the money has already been transferred. The audit report, which examined the issue in detail and revealed the real cause for the delay in repairing streetlight, recommends blocking the payment to the KSEB.
Another cause of wastage of money is lack of individual meters on streetlights.
No plastic for road work
The government had directed all local bodies in the state to use plastic while tarring at least 10 per cent of the roads under it, but none of the roads under the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation have been tarred under this method, according to the audit fund report.
If plastic had been used in road work, it would have partially solved the plastic menace being faced by the city and also increased the life of tarring, said the audit report.