Elected representatives spent lion’s share of MPLADS, CDF money on civic infrastructure and surveillance

August 25, 2023 08:10 am | Updated 08:12 am IST - HYDERABAD Big ticket spending on civic infrastructure and surveillance were the key areas of focus for elected representatives in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, a Right to Information application shows. A major chunk of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) were targeted at these two sectors by the representatives of various parties in the Hyderabad and Secunderabad parliamentary constituencies and corresponding Assembly segments, an analysis of the data over 10 years shows. For instance, based on a RTI response, in 2019-2020, G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister, and State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who represents Secunderabad parliamentary constituency, was entitled to spend ₹20 crore as part of MPLADS. Out of this amount, a total of ₹7.21 crore was released. However, no funds were released in 2020-21, 2022-23, and 2023-24. As a result, Mr. Reddy spent only around 57%. Similarly, during the same time period, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi was entitled to ₹17 crore, of which ₹7.21 crore was released. As was the case with Mr. Reddy, no funds were released in 2020-21, 2022-23, and 2023-24. As a result, Mr. Owaisi spent a little over 65%. Alternatively, from 2014-15 to 2023-24, Mr. Reddy spent a little over 80% of MPLADS funds, while Mr. Owaisi spent nearly 87%. Scenario of assembly segments In the case of assembly segments, RTI data indicated that Malakpet legislator Ahmed bin Abdullah Balala had the highest utilisation of CDF from 2019-2020 to 2023-24, amounting to 99%. While ₹5.55 crore was sanctioned, the legislator spent ₹5.50 crore. The lowest fund utilisation was by Yakutpura legislator Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, with 55.66%. This was followed by Secunderabad legislator T. Padma Rao, who spent 55.88% of the sanctioned amount. T. Raja Singh, the legislator expelled from the BJP, representing Goshamahal, spent 75% of his CDF. ‘Not implemented’ According to the RTI response, the CDF scheme was “not implemented” in 2019-20 and 2020-21. In terms of the number of projects from 2019-2020 to 2023-24, the Karwan Assembly segment, represented by AIMIM legislator Kausar Mohiuddin, has 72 sanctioned works, resulting in an allocation of ₹5.98 crore, with an incurred expenditure of ₹4.68 crore. On the other hand, Secunderabad legislator T. Padma Rao Goud completed 18 projects with an allocation of ₹5.32 crore and an expenditure of a little over ₹2.90 crore. Mr Raja Singh took up 41 projects at a cost of ₹5.22 crore and spent approximately ₹3.90 crore. If we expand the time period to a 10-year span – from 2014-15 to 2023-24 – Mr. Balala continues to hold the top position in terms of spending. While the constituency was entitled to ₹21 crore, it received sanction for 169 projects, resulting in a total of approximately ₹17.50 crore in funds and incurring an expenditure of around ₹17.40 crore, achieving a fund utilisation of 99%. Least spending On the other hand, the least spending over the same period was observed in the case of Sanathnagar assembly segment. Despite having the same entitlement and a release of ₹18 crore, 210 sanctioned projects were carried out, amounting to ₹15.50 crore in funds utilised and an expenditure of ₹11.45 crore – indicating a fund utilisation of approximately 74%. Mr Singh spent over 90% of his CDF. CCTV projects In a response to another RTI, filed by activist Kareem Ansari of YouRTI.in, it was revealed that while a vast majority of projects were developmental works, such as laying of sewage pipelines, and laying roads, from 2014-15 to 2021-22 (till August 2022), at least 142 projects pertaining to installation CCTV cameras across Assembly segments were taken up. Data indicates that the largest number of CCTV installation projects were witnessed in Amberpet Assembly constituency with 39 such works, followed by 22 in Sanathnagar assembly constituency with 22, and 19 in Goshamahal assembly constituency .