The hopes of the UT Administration for an increase in the budgetary allocation for the city were dashed with no enhancement in the amount that was earmarked for the city in the interim budget announced in February this year.
The total amount allocated for 2014-15 is Rs 3543.25 crore as compared to Rs 3491 crore in 2013-14. However, allocation under the Plan Head has reduced from Rs 876 crore in the financial year 2013-14 to Rs 813 crores now. Meanwhile, the allocation under the non-plan head is Rs 2730.25 crore against Rs 2615.56 crore in the last financial year.
The important thrust areas of the next year’s plans are Education for which 23 per cent allocation is made. For health it is 15 per cent, Urban Development is 23 per cent, Transport is 15 per cent, Housing is 5 per cent and Social Security, Social Welfare and Empowerment of Women at 3 per cent. During Annual Plan 2014-15 there is an effort to upgrade the city further by providing better infrastructure, implementation of IT and responsive governance system etc.
The Administration would be dedicating the year 2014 to women and the endeavour would be to make efforts towards promoting safety of the girl child and encouraging girl education. Therefore, four schemes with a total estimated expenditure of Rs10 crore are proposed in the annual plan 2014-15.
The target group to be benefited under all the schemes shall be the priority households under the National Food Security Act,2013. These schemes include Incentive to New Born Girl Children under Hamari Beti programme; providing bicycle to all girls covered under priority household in NFSA – 2013 under Saraswati Yojana; providing laptops to girl students in degree colleges; and comprehensive health insurance scheme for priority households.
Funds to the tune of Rs 5.27 crore have been earmarked for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction plan for various department. Rs 126 crore has been allocated for schools and higher education. Meanwhile Rs 32 crore has been earmarked for technical education including institutes such as Punjab Engineering College University of Technology, Chandigarh College of Architecture, etc. As many as 18 new schools would be opened this year of which two would be government high schools. Existing schools would be upgraded. A language and aptitude improvement programme would be initiated.
In the city’s budget, 15.1 per cent allocation has been made for initiatives for improvement in health facilities. The upgradation of the existing hospitals including Government Multi-Specialty Hospital Sector 16, Government Medical College and Hospital Sector 32 and the 100 bedded hospital at Manimajra.
As many as 50 condemned buses of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking would be replaced for which Rs 13 crore has been allocated. Also 400 new buses would be purchased under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. The bus stand at Sector 43 would be upgraded and expanded.