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MCD budget has an eye on polls

delhi Updated: Jan 17, 2009 00:17 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
MCD budget has an eye on polls

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has promised an array of benefits and earmarked more than Rs 500 crore for development works in its 2009-10 budget, which was finalised on Friday.

With an eye on this year’s Lok Sabha polls, the civic body has included almost every segment of society figures in its list of beneficiaries.

Taxpayers don’t pay new taxes, funds are allotted for road improvement, resettled slum dwellers get ownership rights and taxes on domestic animals have been abolished.

More development funds
“An additional amount of Rs 127 crore this year and Rs 575 crore during the next financial year have been earmarked for development works,” standing committee chairman Vijendra Gupta said.
For 2008-09, the committee would spend Rs 5,401 crore against the proposed Rs 5,274 crore. For 2009-10, it will spend Rs 6,690 crore in place of the proposed Rs 6,115 crore. No additional tax would be levied, Gupta said.

Hope for better roads?
All 100-feet-wide roads are to be transformed to ‘zero-defect stage’ within two months and beautified. Emphasis will be laid on up-gradation of all 80-feet wide roads with the focus on drainage.

“A special committee with the additional commissioner (engineering) and the engineer-in-chief will oversee these and report to the standing committee every 15 days,” Gupta said adding the escrow account of Rs 100 crore for 2008-09 will be increased to Rs 150 crore.

Schools to playgrounds
As many as 60 vacant MCD schools would be converted into playgrounds and wherever possible, underground parking will be developed at Rs 2 crore this year and Rs 10 crore next year.

Animals get relief
The civic body has proposed abolition of taxes on pigs, donkeys, cows, camel and reduction of tax on milch animals.

Other beneficiaries
Cycle-rickshaw pullers, slum dwellers, pensioners. Up to 10 per cent of Councillors Local Area Development Funds earmarked for slums.