With 71 deaths due to two major building collapses in Mahim and Dockyard Road this financial year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will set aside about Rs 300 crore for rebuilding and repairing BMC-owned dilapidated buildings in its 2014-15 budget, to be announced on Wednesday.
This will be still just one per cent of the BMC’s total Budget, expected to top Rs 30,000 crore. The BMC’s budget for 2013-14 stood at Rs 26,581 crore.
Further, with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls in May and state Assembly elections later in October, the budget’s main focus will be improvement of roads, decreasing traffic jams and effective solid waste management. Of this, the highest increase in capital expenditure allocation is likely to be seen in the roads department, in which the allocation is expected to go up from Rs 1,540 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 2,200 crore.
In a move to strengthen its gender budgeting, the BMC has planned to build neonatal intensive care units in all civic peripheral hospitals. “Many sops for women and children will be announced,” said a senior official.
The BMC’s current capital expenditure allocation of over Rs 9,000 crore, 80 per cent of which remains unutilised, too is expected to see a significant rise at over Rs 11,000 crore.
An opposition corporator from the Samajwadi Party, on condition of anonymity, said the BMC administration was claiming that it would use up all its reserves in the next four years with efficient utilisation of the money in the civic coffers.
“Funds are under-utilised because of an inefficient administration. There are deposits worth more than Rs 31,000 crore in BMC banks. The administration has to be serious about effective utilisation of these funds,” the corporator said.