09 Jun 2024  |   05:13am IST

Sardinha utilised nearly 90% of his MPLADS funds

Sardinha utilised nearly 90% of his MPLADS funds

Even though previous South Goa MP from the Congress party, Francisco Sardinha was not given the ticket to contest elections again this year, but it is interesting to note that he utilised nearly 90 per cent of the Rs 25 crore allotted to him under the MPLADS, or to be more precise, utilised Rs 22,33,28,939 (Rs 22.33 crore).

“As the elections were declared suddenly, I could not sanction the balance amount. But that is not a big problem as  my successor will be able to utilise that funds just as I too used some funds remaining from my predecessor,” he said when asked about it.

Perhaps, since he was a teacher before turning into a full time politician, he spent bulk of this amount (Rs 10,40,86,649) on educational institutes, which translates to 46.60 per cent of his total spending.

Educational institutes including schools, higher secondary schools and even colleges were provided computers, laptops, UPS, LCD projectors, screens, Artificial Intelligence laboratories, smart boards and water coolers.

Surprisingly, Sardinha also provided concrete slabs to various panchayats to cover open drains. Earlier, these were provided by the Zilla Panchayat members.

In all, Rs 3,42,63,189 (Rs 3.42 crore) was allotted under this head of which Rs 2,56,06,539 (Rs 2.56 crore) was sanctioned, but not utilised as many of them were sanctioned just before his term expired in March 2024.

An amount of Rs 2,19,35,828 (Rs 2.19 crore) was allotted for constructing or improvement of crematoriums. This includes constructing a crematorium at Ambegan in Panchwadi, for which Rs 14,63,733 (Rs 14.63 lakh) was sanctioned.

Sardinha undertook work on three school playgrounds in these five years - at Curtorim, Chandor-Cavorim village and Regina Mundi High School at Chicalim with Chandor and Chicalim works undertaken in two phases. An amount of Rs 14,95,558 (Rs 14.95 lakh) was sanctioned for the second phase of ground for Regina Mundi High School.

An amount of 1,29,52,355 (Rs 1.29 crore) was earmarked for construction of various facilities like a nallah, railings and footpaths at six places in South Goa.

An amount of Rs 85,12,491(Rs 85.12 lakh) was allotted to provide three ambulances and two hearse vans at different places. South Goa District Hospital at Margao was provided an ambulance costing Rs 23,62,128 (Rs 23.62 lakh).

An amount of Rs 80,91,012 (Rs 80.91 lakh) is spent to help differently abled persons by providing them with scooters with attached wheels, prosthesis, hearing aid and some were even provided assistance.

Materials for gymnasiums were sponsored at four places that include two municipal councils, one panchayat and one college through an amount of Rs 71,55,527 (Rs 71.55 lakh).

While CCTV cameras have been installed at one place, they are in the process of being installed at two other places under MPLAD funds through Rs 48,38,071 (Rs 48.38 lakh) allotted for this work.

An amount of Rs 44,30,827 (Rs 44.30 lakh) was earmarked to provide either 3-arm, cross arm, high mast or street lights at five different places in the constituency.

That ex-MP Francisco Sardinha’s heart belonged to Curtorim, the place from where he began his political career is evident that nearly 10 per cent of the amount he utilised from the MPLAD scheme, were spent in this assembly constituency.

He sanctioned works above Rs 2,13,54,197 (Rs 2.13 crore) during this period. The exact figure cannot be arrived at as the number of computers and other accessories provided to schools could not be quantified as the figures were available in bulk.

However, he sanctioned a total of Rs. 2,13,56,197 (Rs 2.13 crore) for works in the Curtorim assembly constituency which translates to 9.56 per cent of the actual Rs 22,33,28,939 (Rs 22.33 crore) he sanctioned in the five years.

Incidentally, of this amount, Rs 1,40,36,019 (Rs 1.4 crore) or 6.28 per cent was allotted for works within Curtorim village panchayat jurisdiction.

St Xavier’s Institute, Curtorim got 20 computers along with UPS and two laptops under MPLAD funds along with computers provided to St Alex Higher Secondary School costing Rs 6,92,601 (Rs 6.92 lakh).

Now, it remains to be seen how the newly elected South Goa MP, Capt Viriato Fernandes utilises his share of MPLADS funds over next five years.


Iddhar Udhar