After an almost negligible increase in budget spending for the urban poor for the past few years,the total spending on the poorer section of the society will see a drastic rise of over 40 per cent in the 2012-13 fiscal. The civic budget presented on Tuesday provides for a total outlay of Rs 6,553.91 crore for the urban poor,a sharp rise from Rs 4,562.68 crore the previous year. The BMC had spent Rs 4,351 crore in urban poor schemes in 2010-11 and Rs 4,155 crore in 2009-10.
While a large part of spending will focus on health services for poor and primary education for underpriveleged,the civic body will also spend on upgradation of slums and chawls. Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar has allotted over Rs 364 crore for upgradation of slums and Rs 349 crore for improvement,management and maintenance of chawls for poorer section.
Apart from allocating Rs 25 crore for upgradation and upkeep of gaothans,koliwadas and adivasi padas,a Rs 5-crore provision is made for Adhar Kendras that provide training and employment to the poor unemployed youth. The civic administration has also allocated over Rs 1,050 crore for water subsidy to poor. The Rs 2,079-crore allocation for health services for poor will include upgradation of dispensaries,increasing bed strength for neonatal intensive care unit in civic hospitals and upgradation of the GTB Hospital,the largest for TB treatment. The budget also provides Rs 300 crore for repair and upgradation of BMC schools.
Kumar has,in his budget speech,also emphasised the need for special arrangements for the disabled. With a view to providing free access to disabled persons,a provision of Rs 10 crore is proposed to provide ramp with handrail and low-level toilet blocks in all hospitals and recreation centres,etc, he said.