The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday doubled its Rs. 50 lakh budget allocation for each of its 104 councillors as its earlier budget was found to be insufficient for the development of roads, drains and parks.
The civic body has also allotted Rs. 5 lakh for streetlights per ward. It also increased the number of pensioners from 700 per ward to 750.
The allocation for councillors of the civic body's 22 village areas has been increased by Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1.5 crore.
Announcing the civic body's revised budget for 2012-13 at a special standing committee meeting at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Centre, chairman Yogender Chandolia said there were several complaints about the low allocations that had been made in May when the corporation was formed.
"The budget was devised simply by dividing the budget of the now-defunct Municipal Corporation of Delhi by three. Such division cannot be maintained as it leads to lower allocations. We felt a need to update the budget to meet expenditures," Chandolia said.
The BJP-led corporation has earmarked Rs. 5 crore for Chhatt celebrations to woo Poorvanchali voters before the 2013 Assembly elections. It also refused to raise taxes before the polls for fear of alienating voters.
The civic body's leader of the Opposition, Mukesh Goel, criticised the budget for doing nothing for the common man and described the proposal as "simply opportunistic".
"The budget is politically motivated and flawed at its core. For instance, the BJP had promised an increase in the monthly pension of pensioners. But the corporation has decided only to increase the number of pensioners and not the pensions," said Goel.