Four months away from announcement and implementation of next financial year’s annual budget, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has managed to spend only 26% of its overall Rs31,255-crore budget provisions made for this year.
The two scam-hit departments of the BMC – roads and stormwater drains -- have spent less than 40% of its budget expenditure till November-end. Last year, till the end of November, the civic body had managed to spend 27% of its overall budget provision of Rs28,560 crore. This means, the civic body has spent much less than the funds earmarked for various development works in the city.
Road works worth Rs1,348 crore have been completed using the Rs3,576 crore budget provision; however, payments of only Rs440 crore have been made, while Rs908 crore to be paid to 16 contractors against whom road inquiry is being conducted have been withheld. The stormwater drains department has managed to spend Rs436 crore of its budget of its provision worth Rs1,411 crore.
Further, the civic body’s garden department has managed to spend Rs177 crore of the Rs593 crore that were set aside for this year’s development works. However, the solid waste management department has spent more than 50% of its annual budget of Rs2,224 crore. The bridges department has hardly spent Rs49.42 crore of the Rs451.45 crore budget provision.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, in the standing committee on Wednesday, said, “The SWD works of about Rs1,600 crore are in progress at about 90-odd locations in the city. We have carried out road works worth more than Rs1,300 crore, but as payments of contractors are held back due to ongoing roads probe, the total amount spent seems lower.”
While announcing the budget for the city, the civic body comes up with various plans, but these plans are not successfully implemented to even spend 30% of its budget, pointed out standing committee members. Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party group leader, said, “Even this year, the civic administration has failed to spend 30% of the budget. Why do they show inflated figures, if they cannot give the city what they have promised.”