HDMC set to construct new council building on its own

HUBBALLI: Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation () has decided to take up the construction of a new on its premises on its own without depending on funds sanctioned by the government. This issue will be placed before the members in the general body meeting to be held on Thursday for approval.
Mayor Sudheer Saraf told TOI that HDMC has been putting pressure on the and the district administration to approve its proposal to construct a three-floor council building at a cost of Rs 13.94 crore since two years by utilizing its general fund.

“The government has rejected the proposal questioning the financial stability of HDMC to take up this project. We also tried to get the plan approved by splitting the proposal by seeking Rs 4.7 crore to construct the ground floor, upper ground floor and first floor. But it was also rejected by the district administration as it was part of an earlier proposal,” he added.

“Hence, we have now decided to construct the new building without depending on the government’s funds or approval,” said Saraf.

He pointed out that HDMC has to take the government’s approval to take up works worth more than Rs 5 crore.

“So we have prepared a plan to construct the building in a phased manner. Initially, we will construct the first floor at a cost of Rs 1.85 crore, for which we will utilize Rs 1 crore availed in 14th finance commission’s scheme and the rest from HDMC’s general fund. We will put up this plan before the general body meeting to get approval,” he added. “We will gradually construct the second and third floors as and when we get funds under the 14th finance scheme,” he added.

“I had a talk with all HDMC members about this plan and they have given their consent. However, it will be formally approved at the general body meeting. A bhoomi Pooja for the new building will be done in January next year,” Saraf said.

Sources said the existing council building was constructed in 1973 and is in good condition. However, it was constructed when the twin cities had only 45 wards. Later the number increased to 67 and then to 82.

The existing council building houses the HDMC auditorium (meeting hall), chambers of the mayor, deputy mayor, opposition leader and some offices. But, it is said to be not spacious enough to accommodate the increasing number of councilors and offices, necessitating a new building, added sources.

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