Mumbai civic body’s expenditure on roads, water supply, drains increases
Mumbai city new: At Rs25,414 crore, the BMC’s budget is more than some smaller states in Indiamumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2017 00:01 IST
After several years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has shown an improvement in its budget expenditure for the city.
Data analysed by HT reveals that the BMC has utilised 12.60% or Rs1,024.33 crore of the capital expenditure till the end of June, in comparison to 4.49% or Rs581.6 crore it had utilised between April and July 2016. The civic body used the money to improve roads, water supply, drains and gardens.
Despite being the richest civic body in Asia, the BMC has faced flak for poor utilisation of its budget. At Rs25,414 crore, the BMC’s budget is more than some smaller states in India.
Civic officials credit the improvement to better financial monitoring and downsizing of inflated figures. In 2017, the BMC brought down its budget by Rs11,000 crore, as compared to 2016. Till the end of March 31, 2017, BMC had spent only 32% of its 2016 capital expenditure.
“We are looking at better financial monitoring and a more systematic way of planning our projects. We are aiming at uniform expenditure across the year instead of spending in the last quarter when quality can be compromised,” said civic chief Ajoy Mehta.
The two department reeling under scams — the roads and the storm water drains (SWD) departments — however, have shown massive improvement. Inquiries into the two scams not only revealed the alleged nexus between contractors and officials, but also led to reforms in tendering and vigilance norms since 2015.
According to data analysed, the roads department utilised 23.17% or Rs253.71 crore of the Rs1094.82 crore it was allotted till June 20.
In the past two years, BMC engineers and contractors have faced heat over the Rs 352-crore roads scam. Two senior civic officials were also suspended as an aftermath.
As many as 11 civic engineers were suspended in connection with the desilting scam, in which was found that records had been manipulated and bogus bills passed.
In the aftermath, the SWD has spent the most of all departments - Rs236.06 crore or 49.70% of the Rs475 crore allotted. This is a massive improvement compared to Rs113 crore or just 11.29% spent of the massive Rs1,000 crore allocation in 2016.
However, analysis reveals that many departments are yet to improve their budget utilisation despite providing poor services to citizens.
While the city is grappling with a huge garbage-management problem, with two of three dumping grounds reaching their saturation point, BMC’s solid waste management (SWM) department has managed to spend only 5.80% or Rs10.85 crore of the Rs187 crore allotted. This is just a measly improvement from the 2.28% the department had spent till June 2016.