Only 41% funds of BMC’s annual budget for development work used so far
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent around 41% of the budget allocated for development works, as of November 2019. Of the ₹30,692-crore overall budget for 2019-20, ₹12,479 crore was allocated as capital expenditure and ₹5,227 crore was spent this year.
The data reflects an improvement in comparison to last year’s expenditure wherein BMC had spent ₹2,952 crore of its ₹7,792 crore budget (37%) reserved for capital expenditure, as of November 30, 2018.
Capital expenditure is around 40% of the total budget and is planned expenditure for several crucial departments like roads and traffic, bridges, garden, health, hydraulics, development plan, stormwater drains, solid waste management, etc.
In the 2019-20 financial year up to November 2019, of the ₹12,479-crore budget, BMC has spent around 53% of the amount allocated for road and traffic; 14% for the coastal road project; 59% for the bridges department; 79% for stormwater drains; 20% for gardens; 14.90% for solid waste management; 0.34% for solid waste management (projects); 8.10% for fire brigade; 12.10% for information technology; around 33% for health and civic-run hospitals; 75.15% for estate department; 46% for markets department; 0.62% for development plan department, and 3.67% for Goregaon-Mulund link road (GMLR) project.
Several projects like the coastal road and GMLR did not have much utilisation of budget, considering only bidding work is underway for GMLR and there was a six-month stay on coastal road work till recently.
Further, the departments for which expenditure went down in 2019-20 (April to November) compared to 2018-19 (April to November) are solid waste management (14.90% from 20%); fire brigade (8.10% from 58.53%); Mumbai sewage disposal project department (14.85% from 29.42%).
On the other hand, expenditure went up for several departments like road and traffic, bridges, stormwater drain, garden, estate, and water supply project departments.
“The expenditure has increased in several departments and in the coming days, the budget will be utilised on several projects of roads and bridges that will ensure maximum expenditure,” said a civic official.
“Expenditure has gone down for certain departments because of the model code of conduct that came in twice during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. However, in the coming days in January and February, many of the bills that are stuck will be cleared. The lower expenditure does not mean work is not done at all,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator from Bandra, said, “This is the story every year, wherein a flowery picture is portrayed by having an excess amount of allocation in the budget, but the expenditure does not happen on time. For something like development plan department, the expenditure is nothing along with that of expenditure of fire brigade that has gone down drastically, which is very crucial for the city.”
On declining expenditure for the fire brigade department, Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade, said, “There was some issue and many of the tenders are out now. In the remaining months of the financial year, appropriate expenditure will be made to meet procurement requirements.”