PMC unfolds ‘saffron’ budget

Forgetting the differences with NCP or Congress over who would present the annual budget...

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: February 28, 2009 3:26:46 am

Forgetting the differences with NCP or Congress over who would present the annual budget,Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Shyam Deshpande finally presented the Rs 3,027 crore budget before the civic general body on Friday. Among others,the highlights of this “saffron” budget include a newly proposed Rs 16-crore slum rehabilitation scheme,development of underground parking bays at the cost of Rs 22 crore and a shelter for dogs at Rs one crore.

The saffron touch to the budget is evident through proposals like creation of Shiv Srushti depicting the life of the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji,Rajmata Jijau slum rehabilitation scheme named after Shivaji’s mother and a cartoon museum garden at the cost of Rs five crore. Deshpande said that the inspiration behind this cartoon museum is Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray,who is a cartoonist himself.

Last month,NCP and Congress had joined hands and stripped Deshpande of his budgetory and handed them over to NCP leader Anil Bhosale. This had given rise to the differences in “Pune Pattern,” in which NCP and Sena share the power. The civic standing committee has suggested a hike of Rs 347 crore in PMC commissioner’s budget of Rs 2,680 crore. Of the total amount,Rs 1,764 crore has been allocated for the capital development works,Rs 120 crore for water supply projects and Rs 45 crore for sewage treatment projects. On the income side,there is a target of Rs 850 crore through octroi collection,which covers 28 per cent of the total income.

Elaborating on the slum rehab scheme,Deshpande said,“There are two lakh hutments in 564 slums in the city and the number is increasing by the day. Nearly 42 per cent of the total population in Pune resides in slums. Slum rehabilitation projects are being implemented under various heads including Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP). Nevertheless,it will take a long time to rehabilitate residents from all two lakh hutments. In the mean time,new slums will also mushroom.”

The Rajmata Jijau Gharkul project is aimed at rehabilitating hutments raised till January 1,2009. The total area of a tenement under this scheme will be 25 sq metre with one bedroom,hall and kitchen. At the presentation of the budget,members of Sambhaji Brigade raised slogans from the public gallery demanding a hike in the allocation for Shiv Srushti. After the uproar,finally Anil Bhosale declared that Rs 15 crore would be made available for the project,raising the amount by Rs 8 crore from Rs 7 crore.

In the annual budget,Rs 50 lakh has been allocated for raising public toilets on some important roads. An amount of Rs 5 crore has been alloted for setting up garbage processing unit and Rs 35 crore for Bhama-Askhed water purification plant.

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