The Rs 150 crore grant was meant for all the 294 assembly constituencies. But chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has splurged it only on Pileru constituency in his native Chittoor district that is represented by him in the Assembly. In a record of sorts, the state government has released Rs 102.6 crore for various development works in Pileru in the last 15 days.
After taking over as chief minister, Kiran Kumar had set up the Special Development Fund (SDF) for taking up works that are not part of the regular plan in all the assembly constituencies. For the financial year 2013-14, the state has sanctioned Rs 600 crore for the SDF and for the first quarter, the finance department released Rs 150 crore.
Incidentally, the rules for SDF have been framed in such a manner that the release of funds is at the sole discretion of the chief minister and there is no need of any administrative sanction or technical clearance from the concerned authorities for undertaking the works. Thus, as a prelude to the CM’s visit to Chittoor district earlier this week, the planning department has issued 10 GOs in the last 15 days and doled out Rs 102.6 crore. Beginning with GO No 416 on April 22 that released Rs 3.69 crore, GO Nos 432, 434, 448, 449, 451, 459, 460, 461, 481 were released during the next two weeks. Together, the total amount sanctioned was Rs 102.6 crore.
Interestingly, the GOs were issued in the name of villages rather than Pileru constituency, though all of them come under the assembly constituency represented by Kiran Kumar. The villages include Gurramkonda, K V Palle, Kalakada, Kalikiri, Valmikipuram, Timmapuram, Kottakuravapalli and Timmadivanapalle of YV Palem. Almost all the works listed in the GOs were either road repairs or roads upgradation and mandal infrastructure development. Not requiring either administrative sanction or technical clearance, the funds have been deposited in the PD account of the Chittoor district collector. Officials said as a result of the release of funds for one constituency, there are now left with a little over Rs 47 crore that can be utilized for unplanned development works in the remaining 293 assembly constituencies. “It is a clear case of misuse of the discretionary powers that are vested with the chief minister,” said an official.