Financial crunch: MCDs mull closure of family welfare programme
Family welfare programme which relates to family welfare especially in reproductive health, maternal health, paediatrics and population control through family planning may not exist any longer in the city as the Municipal Corporations of Delhi have been planning to close the programme. The agencies, which have been facing <g data-gr-id="82">financial</g> crunch, have claimed that they are not receiving aid from the state government since more than a decade and are facing difficulties in running it. Notably, the <g data-gr-id="81">programme,</g> launched about 60 years back, benefits women and children belonging to the poorer section of society.
As per the report, the cash-strapped civic bodies have decided to down the shutters of over two dozen family planning clinics in the city and discontinue all the projects related to maternity and child welfare, family planning and population control. This programme was being run by the MCDs before their trifurcation and was being reimbursed by the Centre through Delhi government. The Corporations claimed that despite provision of 100 per cent grant every year, no money has been received in the last 10 years and the agencies are bearing the entire cost including running of clinics, salary of staff along with other expenses.
Chairman Standing Committee of North MCD, MP Bhardwaj said that the North Corporation alone has spent Rs 76.77 on this programme since 2006.
The Delhi government had to release Rs 90 crore in this head but no money has been released so far. About 201 employees, attached with this programme, are getting salary from the Corporation’s fund.
“Owing to the financial crisis, we have decided to close the programme. We have passed the proposal on Wednesday which is likely to get the <g data-gr-id="56">go ahead</g> from the House,” said Bhardwaj.
“We are managing every bit on our own. Delhi government has not paid the outstanding amount of Rs 979 crore to South Delhi Municipal Corporation. <g data-gr-id="85">Therefore</g> we have decided to move court over the issue. Since we are already burdened with many other services we do not want to carry out any family programme as that would pile up the dues,” said Radhe Shyam Sharma, SDMC Standing Committee Chairperson.
Leader of House in the North MCD, Yogender Chandolia, warned that senior leaders along with Corporation councillors would gherao the Chief Minister’s residence and Office if the government does not pay the outstanding fund of Rs 77 crore against the family welfare programme.