As the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) tables Rs 1,005 crore budget proposal for 2017-18 in the finance and contract committee meeting on Tuesday, it plans to spend Rs 79 crore on improving the city’s water supply system alone, making it the focus area this time.
Of the Rs 1,005 crore, Rs 339 crore will be under the capital head, while Rs 666 crore will be under the revenue head.
While development works are carried out under the capital head, recurring expenses such as employees’ salaries are incurred under the revenue (plan) head.
Surprisingly, the MC has not come up with any new project in the proposed budget.
The next fiscal’s proposals make no provision for amenities for the destitute, afforestation or shelters for stray animals. Moreover, reduction in welfare expenses for public health, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), bridges and roads clearly points towards misplaced priorities of the civic body.
Besides water supply system, the MC has proposed strengthening of sewerage, construction/ renovation of public toilets, to provide tertiary treated water in areas that were left out in various sectors of the city, upgrade of dhobi ghats, to have a new cremation furnace at the Sector 25 cremation ground and construction of new sehaj safai kendras for garbage storage.
Under the solid waste management and allied services (Rs 22 crore), the MC has earmarked Rs 2.15 crore for sanitation, Rs 2.50 crore for meat hygiene, Rs 1.20 crore for cattle pounds and Rs 6 crore for carcasses utilisation centre.
It has earmarked Rs 10 crore under swachh Bharat mission.
Official records reveal that till December 31, the MC spent only 17% of the total funds allocated to it under the plan head for 2016-17. Of the Rs 572 crore plan head budget, the MC was able to spend only Rs 100 crore.
The MC collected Rs 49 crore in water tariff against the Rs 68-crore target. It received only Rs 3.35 crore in sewerage cess against its estimate of Rs 7 crore.