The good news is that the upcoming civic budget will have no new taxes and no hikes in existing taxes. The bad news is that no new projects will be undertaken in the next year.
The country’s largest municipality, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), will have a budget of around Rs 21,000 crore. Completing ongoing projects will be top priority during the next fiscal year, with most of them to be handled on both, Build-Operate-Transfer and Public-Private-Partnership basis.
The budget will be presented on Wednesday before the Standing Committee, whose chairman Ravindra Waikar said: “No new taxes will be imposed in the next fiscal budget. It will be a surplus budget.”
Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya said: “We will unveil the budget in two days”. For roads, bridges and traffic signals, the BMC has allocated around Rs 900 crore, against last year’s provision of Rs 1,321 crore. Around 400 crore has been allocated to the concretisation of roads, and another Rs 500 crore for asphalting.
With the water crisis looming large over the city, the BMC has increased its budget provision for the water department.
Construction of the Middle Vaitarna Dam will be top priority. The BMC is planning to improve water distribution within the city — more than Rs 100 crore will be used to repair existing water mains.
A total of Rs 72 crore will be allocated for rainwater harvesting projects, while Rs 67 crore is being provisioned for construction of borewells. Sources said with only 40 per cent of the capital budget being spent this year, the rest 60 per cent will be reflected in the 2010-11 budget.