Ahead of the crucial civic polls in April, the Delhi government on Wednesday announced an increase of Rs 982 crore for the three municipal corporations in its Budget for 2017-18.
Delhi finance minister and deputy CM Manish Sisodia announced an allocation of Rs 7,571 crore for the three municipal corporations. Last year, the government allocated Rs 6,909 crore for the same.
In 2016-17, an additional Rs 1,000 crore was allocated to the municipal bodies compared to the 2015-16 budget outlay.
Except the South Delhi body, North and East Delhi civic bodies are facing a crippling financial crunch which has led to strikes by municipal employees in the recent past. The poor finances have also ensured that these two municipal bodies have not been able to implement some critical projects in waste management, sanitation and parking.
While the AAP government has blamed the financial mess on the alleged rampant corruption and mismanagement of resources by the municipal corporations, the BJP-ruled civic bodies claim that the Delhi government has failed to give them their share of money leading to financial problems.
Leaders in the municipal corporations, however, are not impressed.
“It is a routine trend that there is an increase of at least 10% in the budget allocation to the municipal bodies. We are gathering data to find out the percentage increase/decrease in the amount allocated to us. It’s too early to comment,” said Vijay Prakash Pandey, leader of the House, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The AAP-led city government and the BJP-ruled corporations have been at loggerheads for last several months over allocation of money to the municipal bodies.
The corporations have been repeatedly demanding that the Delhi government must implement the report of Delhi Fourth Finance Committee to end the severe financial crunch.