Adding proposals to construct four new road bridge, civic centre, swimming pool, an exclusive health centre for women etc, the standing committee of Rajkjot Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Friday approved the budget of city civic body for the financial year 2015-16. However, the committee kept tax rates unchanged, like the municipal commissioner had proposed in his draft budget.
The standing committee added total nine new project proposals to the draft budget presented by municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra a week before. The committee made modifications amounting to approximately Rs 11 crore in allocations for revenue expenditure while also proposing five new projects requiring capital expenditure. After offsetting adjustments worth Rs 11 crore, the new proposals by the standing committee inflated the total budget size by around Rs 5 crore to Rs 1752.02 crore. The commissioner had presented a total budget of Rs 1745.23 crore on January 29.
Among the major changes made by the committee were Rs 5 crore allocated to each of the Municipal School Board and for constructing flyover bridges at Kotecha Chowk on Kalavad Road and at Nana Mava circle on 150-feet Ring Road, an under-bridge at KKV Hall on Kalavad Road and four-lanning the railway over-bridge on Jamnagar Road. The committee allocated another Rs 5 crore for building a hockey and foot-ball stadium in Race Course while also setting aside Rs 2 crore for developing a new swimming pool in Mavdi area.
The committee also added a proposal worth Rs 55 lakh for building a new civic centre to cater to the needs of Kotharia and Vavdi, the twin villages which were merged with RMC recently.
“To promote digital services in Race Course which is the sporting and recreation hub in the city, we propose to offer Wi-Fi services on pilot basis and Rs 90 lakh have been set aside for this project. For women empowerment, we propose to develop a ladies’ self-employment zone and an exclusive health centre for women at the cost of Rs 25 lakh each,” standing committee chairman Nitin Bhardwaj said after the approval on the budget 2015-16.
The standing committee also increased allocation for festival celebrations from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore. Among major cuts the committee effected in the proposals of the draft budget. Few among them are cutting down on power bills from Rs 26 crore to Rs 24 crore and spending on availing security services from Rs 4 crore to Rs 3 crore.
Like the Municipal Commissioner, the standing committee also did not raise tax rates.
“I congratulate the standing committee for coming up with a budget without any tax hike while also taking care of the diverse needs for further development of the city. The focus is on the 10 goals like getting rid of the dirt and pollution in the city, cattle menace etc as part of turning Rajkot into a smart city. The budget addresses these needs,” Rajkot Mayor Raksha Boliya said after the standing committee cleared budget.