The General House of the Municipal Corporation passed its budget for the year 2009-10 today which includes Rs 268.18 crore under the Plan head and Rs 394.32 crore under the Non-Plan head.
An amount of Rs 57.40 crore has been sanctioned for the improvement of roads,parking places and infrastructure facilities including the widening of roads,development of Motor market,Sector 17 and other markets as well as the provision of community parking.
For the improvement of infrastructure in rehabilitation colonies,an amount of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked while a sum of Rs 12 crore has been allocated for the development of nine villages.
Another important feature of this years budget is that focus has been laid on landscaping of the city including the development of green belts,parks and open spaces. It has been decided that a part of the dumping ground in Dadumajra will be developed into a park while storm water drainage in the city would also be improved at a cost of Rs 11.30 crore.
The Mayor fund has been increased from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore per year while the fund at the disposal of senior deputy Mayor and deputy mayor would be Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
Meanwhile,the budget generated a mixed response from the councillors. BSP councillor Jatinder Bhatia said though funds have been approved for Colony Number 4 and 5,no work is being undertaken in the area to which Municipal Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria replied that the Administration had asked work in these areas to be stopped.
Also,councillor Pardeep Chhabra questioned why other facilities could not be extended to the residents of these colonies when electricity and water connections were being provided to them.
Other councillors expressed their objections stating that the Budget was presented to them just two days before the meeting. The members also demanded to know why the changes recommended in the Budget during the discussion in the Finance and Contract Committee Meeting,were not incorporated.
Meanwhile,councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma pointed out several discrepancies in the Budget. He questioned the allocation of Rs 50 lakh for the dumping ground in Dadumajra when the garbage processing plant was already in place. It was also pointed out that while the MC was supposed to get Re 1 per bottle of wine sold,the same was not being done resulting in a loss of revenue.
…. amid boycott and walkouts
The MC House Meet witnessed high drama on Thursday with the Budget being passed amid BJP and Akali councillors walking out,not once but twice.
Ruckus started minutes after the session began when Congress councillor M S Chohan thanked Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal and the Congress-led UPA government for passing two bills Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2007,in the Lok Sabha that would benefit the landowners.
Soon after,councillors of the opposition started shouting that statements praising the minister should not be made in the House.
Councillor Harjinder Kaur rued that the Congress gives credit of all that is happening in the city to Bansal,whereas it is the Administration that is responsible for all the work being done.
Following the chaos,the nominated Akali Dal councillors walked out of the House claiming that Chohan had started speaking without addressing the Chair. Later,BJP and BSP councillors also walked out forcing the House to be adjourned for some time.
After the House resumed,discussion went on for some time before yet another issue cropped up. As BJP councillor Ram Lal stood up to speak,Mayor Kamlesh interrupted him and started reading out her Budget speech.
This again sparked off another controversy in the House with councillors of the opposition bench picking on the Mayor by raising the issue of her husband being involved in a fight in Dadumajra. Joint commissioner T P S Phoolka has submitted an enquiry report about the incident.
The Mayor then asked them to leave the House,following which marshals were called in to help maintain decorum in the House. Amid all the chaos and boycott,the Mayor continued reading the Budget speech. The BJP councillors and those from the Akali Dal walked out for the second time and staged a dharna outside the House.