Although the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), one of the richest civic bodies in the country, presented a surplus budget of Rs.27,578 crore on Monday, only one-third of this — Rs.9,369 crore — will be pumped into the city for the much-needed upgradation of civic amenities and new projects.
The capital expenditure budget, which indicates the amount dedicated to new projects, has been shrinking in the past three budgets and has been less than 37% of the total budget.
What’s worse is that only half of this will be utilised. The budget utilisation for 2012-13 was 25%.
Little wonder then that so many grand projects planned years ago have been delayed.
For instance, the Brimstowad project, which aims to upgrade the city’s 19th century storm water drains, has been dragging on for the past six years.
“The BMC, which has a budget equivalent to that of many small states, has not prioritised its spending on development and infrastructure projects,” said Prakash Sanglikar, former deputy municipal commissioner.