In its first executive meeting held after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government in the state, the Ghaziabad municipal corporation cleared a budget of Rs836 crore on Saturday. Corporation officials also directed all departments to follow the BJP’s ‘Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra’ and work as per its priorities.
Mayor Ashu Verma too asked all officials to take a copy of the document and start working accordingly. The ‘Sankalp patra’ is a set of pre-poll promises that the BJP made before the elections. It includes a development agenda for farmers, citizens, women, youth and other sections of society.
“We have also asked officials to put the highlights of the manifesto on government advertisements across the city. The old days are gone now and work will be done as per the state government’s priorities,” Verma said.
In his first interaction with senior officials in Lok Bhawan in Lucknow on Monday, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had also instructed them to ensure implementation of the BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra.’
On Saturday, the CM said that a facility for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims will come up either at Lucknow, Ghaziabad or Noida. In Ghaziabad, the mayor said the corporation board had already cleared a proposal last year and identified 10,000 square yards near Arthala for pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar and Kanwar Yatra.
“As the place has already been identified in Ghaziabad, we will apprise the CM about its availability so that it can be built here,” he said.
The land identified is next to Ala Hazrat Haj House that was inaugurated by former CM Akhilesh Yadav last year.
To carry out development works, the corporation board has proposed an income of Rs633 crore along with an expenditure of Rs613 crore.
“We need to expedite the geographic information system (GIS) survey for all properties in Ghaziabad so that house tax can be levied and more income can be generated to carry out development works. The survey will also help us get locations of roads, which will in turn help us identify which roads have been repaired,” said Abdul Samad, municipal commissioner.
The proposal for the survey was cleared in the previous board meeting held in November. The officials also proposed that the limit of 0.67% of infrastructure development funds (IDF) be raised to 1% of the 2% IDF amount. The IDF is a 2% surcharge paid by residents on purchase of stamp papers.
The 2% funds are divided in a specified proportion between the municipal corporation, Avas Vikas and Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) to carry out local development works.
“We still have Rs183 crore of the IDF pending to be received from the state government. We have already identified around 43,000 new properties, but our house tax incomes have not risen accordingly. We will also pursue state officials to direct that other agencies divert their funds to local development and not to infrastructure projects such as the metro. This will reduce the burden on the corporation, which has to spend on local infrastructure,” the mayor said.