DASHING HOPES of the Chandigarh Administration, the National Democratic Alliance government gave Chandigarh only 33 per cent under the plan head of what was demanded.
However, there has been an increase of around 10 per cent in allocations under the plan and non-plan heads as compared to the revised budget of current financial year.
The administration had sought Rs 2,095 crore under the plan head, of which the Central government has fixed the ceiling at Rs 700 crore as compared to the current year’s budget of Rs 635 crore. Under the non-plan head, an amount of Rs 2,586 crore was allocated last year. The ceiling for the next fiscal year has been fixed at Rs 2,834 crore against a demand for Rs 3,237.
The important thrust areas include urban development, health,education, transport and power. The fund under non-plan head will largely cater to expenditure of salaries and other recurring expenses.
As per a press statement issued by the administration, an amount of Rs 2,095 crore was projected on account of a larger share for the Municipal Corporation to the tune of Rs 660 crore as per recommendations of the Delhi Finance Commission and for the proposed projects like expansion of the high court, flats for police and secretariat building.
UT special secretary (finance) Bhavna Garg said that the allocated budget would be used judiciously for carrying out planned development works and more funds would be sought in September.
Housing and urban development
WITH an aim to provide good infrastructure and affordable housing, the administration has proposed various projects. The Centre has allocated Rs 214 crore for housing and urban development which was Rs 146 crore last year. The funds will be spent on strengthening infrastructure and upgradation of civic amenities available in the city, especially in the area falling outside the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.
FOR education, the administration has received over Rs 172 crore for improvement in primary education and technical education. The allocated funds will be used in construction of new schools.
FOR improving public transportation in the city, the Centre has allocated Rs 63 crore under the plan head. The authorities are planning to purchase around 100 new buses. As per official figures, CTU has a fleet of 470 buses which are operating from its four depots. The fleet comprises standard size buses, semi-low floor non-AC buses, AC buses, low-floor AC buses, low-floor non-AC buses and mini-AC buses.
FOR improving health services and infrastructure in the city, the Centre has allocated a budget of Rs 135 crore. The funds will be utilised for strengthening of health infrastructure.
TO ensure uninterrupted power supply in the city, funds to the tune of Rs 26 crore have been allocated. The money will also be utilised for promotion of model solar city programme.
Where UT lagged
THE failure of the Chandigarh Administration to utilise the allocated budget in the current financial year has cost it dearly. Against the norms of 50 per cent budget to be utilised by September, only 35 per cent of budget was utilised. The administration had to pay for under-utilisation of funds as the finance ministry imposed a cut of around Rs 225 crore under the plan head, forcing the administration to manage its affairs with a mere Rs 635 crore. Even out of Rs 635 crore, the administration could only utilise 87.21 per cent of the funds till February 25.
THE decision of the Central government to allocate only 33 per cent of the demanded budget will affect the progress of many planned capital projects. According to senior officials, the administration’s plans of constructing a new secretariat building in Sector 9, expansion of Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16, police housing scheme, multilevel parking in Sector 43, construction of hospitals in Sector 53, Maloya, Dhanas and Sector 43 have taken a back seat. With limited resources at hand, the administration will be forced to focus mainly on completion of projects which have already been initiated.