In the Rs 691 crore proposed budget of the Chandigarh municipal corporation for 2015-16, which will be placed in the finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting in the first week of February, no new project has been proposed for the city and basic amenities too have taken a back seat.
The budget approved in 2014-15 was `618 crore.
The proposed budget includes `327 crore allocated under plan head, while under the non-plan head the budget is `319 crore for the next fiscal.
A budget provision of `22 crore has been proposed for water supply, compared with last year’s `26 crore, of which only `14 crore was spent. A budget of `30 crore has been proposed for primary education, which was `15 crore last year, but the civic body just spent `11 lakh. Similarly, for primary health, the budget proposed is `30 crore against `22 crore last year. Surprisingly, the MC has spent `72 lakh on primary health care.
In the MC’s firefighting infrastructure, which is on life support, the civic body spent `9 lakh out of `12 crore. This year also, the MC has proposed `15 crore budget for the same. Pertinently, the civic body spent nothing to upgrade fire safety in the city.
The next fiscal’s proposals also make no provision for significant amenities for the destitute, afforestation or shelters for stray animals. Moreover, reduction in welfare expenses for public health, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), bridges and roads clearly points towards misplaced priorities of the MC.
Surprisingly, the MC has proposed just `1 crore for providing facilities in villages under its limits. Last year, it was `5 crore of which the MC spent only `62 lakh.
For sanitation and mechanical transportation of garbage, which requires special attention, the MC has proposed `29 crore. `30 lakh has been proposed for pest control. It needs to be enhanced comprehensively keeping in view the spread of deadly diseases like malaria, dengue and swine flu. Last year, the allocation was `20 lakh and the civic body spent only `12 lakh.
BJP councillor Satinder Singh said, “The civic body has failed to provide basic amenities to city residents, be it water supply, sanitation, sewerage, parks or roads despite having money at their disposal. We will question this in the upcoming house meeting. No new project has been proposed in the budget, which is very strange.”