CHAIRMAN of the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh has called on the Government to release funds saying the corporation has been the victim of poor, inadequate and untimely releases.
Ramadharsingh said burgesses were totally depressed and, in some cases, disgusted by the lack of release given to do work daily.
Ramadharsingh said: "This is a very poverty-stricken community. Let us build our roads, let us help our schools, let us get our drains cleared. How could we do anything about flooding when we don’t have the money to repair and maintain machinery to take them out there?"
He was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday at the corporation at High Street in Siparia.
He said, for the past three years, the corporation had been at its wit's end, working with small contractors and other private people, to get little things done for the poor people.
"This corporation has been starving for funds for the past three years but the last year has been brutal, merciless and extremely painful."
The Rural Development and Local Government Ministry, he said, are claiming the delay of the release stems from the Finance Ministry. The chairman said he contacted minister Kazim Hosein who told him the Finance Ministry was responsible for releasing the money.
"But we reached a point where we are not satisfied with the explanation. I have also reached out to the Minister of Finance. He has accepted my communication and indicated he would look into the matter. I am very hopeful that these conversations will help us to be in a stronger position so the money can be released."
Last year at this period, SRC received 61 per cent of the money it was supposed to get for electricity for general administration and zero per cent for this year. Under telephones expenditure, the corporation was allocated $650,000 and last year SRC received 86 per cent.
The corporation is experiencing critical shortages for its development programme.
"We have a vote under the materials and supplies expenditure and that the allocation is $1 million. We have received to date only $100,000 and that money has to be divided into all nine electoral districts," Ramadharsingh told reporters
He added: "How could that be right and fair? It is unacceptable, it is a transgression of the Municipal Act of 1990. We have to ration batteries, change batteries from one vehicle to the next, share sometimes tyres because we need a particular vehicle. We cannot deliver water to impoverished areas."