Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani on Thursday announced the draft budget of Rs 6,003 crore for the next financial year 2020-21, which is an increase of Rs 625 crore from the previous year’s budget. This was Pani’s first draft budget.
Besides proposing a hike in yearly fire charges for commercial and industrial properties, the draft budget has given emphasis on traffic parking management, implementation of multi-model authorities, electric buses and e-vehicle charging stations.
The draft budget estimates revenue income of Rs 3,231 crore and the revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 2,091 crore.
A new administrative headquarters of SMC will also be built at the cost of Rs 350 crore at old Subjail location on Ring Road, the draft budget stated.
Besides, provision has been made to extend distribution of water to 60.03 sqkm area in 2020-21 from the present 19.56 sqkm under the government’s Nal se Jal scheme.
To reduce traffic congestion, provision of nine more flyovers have been made at the cost of Rs 419 crore.
As part of Swachha Bharat scheme, funds have been allocated for gardens, amusement parks and tree plantations in the draft budget. Under the central government’s wetland development policy, 64 ponds will be developed in the city at the cost of Rs 84 crore.
For uninterrupted water facility to entire municipal corporation areas, the draft budget mentioned that SMC will make underground tanks, overhead tanks at the cost of Rs 49.25 crore. An outer ring road in Rander area will also be developed. The work on Tapi river cleaning project at the cost of Rs 971.25 crore will also be taken up, along with Tapi river front project and water conservation barrage project at Rundh village.
The draft budget has also proposed Rs 45 crore for 15 more fire stations in the city. At present there are 16 fire stations.
“The draft budget is balanced, futuristic, realistic and inclusive. For the next three to five years, various development projects will be taken up. We will try to give a new look to the city, which has already got the smart city award recently. We have also promoted emission trading system for the dyeing and printing mills to reduce pollution.”
Reacting to the draft budget, Congress councilor Aslam cyclewala said, “We oppose the hike in fire charges. We hope that the ruling party leaders and administrative officials of SMC rethink the hike.”
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