The Chandigarh Administration has sought a budget of Rs 5,900 crore from the Centre for the 2018-19 fiscal. For the power department, a budget of Rs 900 crore has been sought while for the engineering wing, Rs 700 crore has been asked for. Of the Rs 700 crore sought for engineering works, Rs 375 crore is compensation for land acquisition.
While a huge amount of Rs 1,922 crore has been asked just for salaries by the UT, the rest are for other development work, other departments and wages. For smart city, separately, Rs 100 crore has been sought. Last year as well, UT got Rs 100 crore for the smart city in the budget for 2017-18. Till now, only the work on construction of the underbridge from Rose Garden to Sector 17 has begun and all the other works are just on paper as of now. While a budget of Rs 250 crore has been sought for health and education, Rs 50 crore has been asked for transport. “We have already sent our demand to the Centre after getting the same from respective departments,” said Finance Secretary A K Sinha.
Of the total budget, UT has sought an amount of Rs 1,100 crore for the cash-starved Municipal Corporation, which has been facing a financial crunch. The corporation had even sought Rs 925 crore in the mid-term from the Centre but it was told to generate its own revenue. There has already been a delay in several corporation projects due to the paucity of funds. They have been making payments from fixed deposits which have reduced to just Rs 125 crore now.
The estimates for road recarpeting in Chandigarh have been prepared for around Rs 35 crore while that of footpaths with PCC tiles has already been approved for Rs 20 crore. Construction work of several new community centres and renovation of the existing ones for about Rs 20 crore is already on while a grid sub-station of 66KV had to be set up again for Rs 20 crore. The MC had identified dark spots in the city’s green belts and streets where they have to carry out street lighting work worth Rs 20 crore.
Estimates of open gyms in green belts and their maintenance is for about Rs 10 crore and the same amount is required for renovation of the first three floors of the MC building at Sector 17. The MC, however, has not been able to pay that yet.