Thane Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal on Wednesday presented a Rs 3,861-crore Budget for the civic body for financial year 2019-2020, an increase of Rs 174 crore from the previous Budget. Jaiswal termed it as ‘sankalp purti arthasankalp’ (budget to fulfil resolutions). No new big infrastructure projects were announced.
“While expenditure has increased, our earnings have also increased. So, for the first time, our capital expenses percentage has gone down,” he said.
Jaiswal proposed several new projects focusing on culture and tourism, environment, smart governance, economic development and basic facilities.
“We are taking forward last year’s work to make Thane an economically, socially and an environmentally happy city. Several initiatives have been started focusing on women and child welfare and social development, which we have been accused of undervaluing,” Jaiswal said. “We are also focusing on reducing air pollution and increasing our green cover.”
He said the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) had doubled its earnings in the last five years. “Starting with just a thousand crore budget, we are now
working with Rs 3,000-crore budget. Last financial year, we didn’t have to take loan and even this year, the proposed loan of Rs 520 crore is for major projects, like Metro that will pass through Thane,” he added.
Jaiswal claimed that in the past five years, the credit rating of TMC by independent body CRISIL had gone up from B+ to AA. “Due to our earnings and annual investments, our ratings have improved and in future, it will even become AA+, which is the highest rating,” Jaiswal said.
Claiming that almost all the projects he had embarked upon in the last financial year were either already completed or were in progress, Jaiswal said: “We have delivered on most of the promises and this year, we will ensure that everything else, like the multi-specialty hospital in Mumbra, will be finished within this year.”
The TMC plans to invest Rs 2 crore on vertical gardens and green canopies across the city. It will also invest Rs 1 crore to install mist sprays in four busy junctions: Teen Hath Naka, Kapurbwadi junction, Bramhand and Kasarwadvli. “The mist sprays will be used to suppress air pollutants,” civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal said. Like Delhi the government’s health centres, the TMC plans to open 50 ‘mohalla’ clinics across the city, where over 110 prescription drugs and 200 diagnostic tests will be offered free of cost. The TMC also proposes to open thalassemia centres, two neo-natal ICUs and more milk banks. A total of Rs 12 crore has been proposed for these health initiatives.