Thane civic body’s Rs3,695-crore budget focuses on ‘happiness index’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Thane civic body’s Rs3,695-crore budget focuses on ‘happiness index’

Residents of Thane will not pay more taxes this year. They will get wider roads, high-tech signals, more flyovers, developed waterfront and better civic schools.

mumbai Updated: Mar 20, 2018 01:25 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindsutan Times
TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal (second from left) and mayor Meenakshi Shinde on Monday(HT photo)

Residents of Thane will not pay more taxes this year. They will get wider roads, high-tech signals, more flyovers, developed waterfront and better civic schools.

Presenting a ‘happy budget’ estimate of Rs3,695.13 crore on Monday, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has allocated Rs100 crore for special projects to increase the happiness index of residents.

“The TMC is the first municipal corporation in the country to introduce the happiness index concept,” said TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal, while presenting the budget to the general body.

Twenty-four small projects will be implemented under the feel-good projects of Rs100 crore.

Saying that the projects will foster happiness, Jaiswal added: “While completing most projects, we have also undertaken initiatives which will make citizens happy. We have studied the international happiness parameters and chosen the projects.”

The projects include funding innovative ideas by young entrepreneurs, starting school radios, mobile cancer screening vehicles, specialised smartphones for the visually challenged, smog-free or pollution-free zones for residents and syncing traffic signals with Google map to monitor real-time traffic.

“We also have planned to start breast milk bank and sleep study labs. Depression is the biggest problem of the urban population today. We have decided to set up counselling centres for people suffering from depression,” said Jaiswal, the only civic commissioner of Thane to present the civic budget for the fourth time.

Last year, the corporation had increased property tax by 10 per cent while presenting an estimate budget of Rs3047.19 crore. This year, there are no new taxes and the TMC’s revenue has increased by Rs1,273 crore.

The budget also focuses on major projects to improve connectivity. Jaiswal added, “The TMC is also the first in the state to undertake development of its waterfront. We have undertaken Rs240-crore waterfront development project. The work at Parsik, Gaimukh, Nagla Bunder and Kolshet Chowpatty has started. Soon, Gaimukh to Waghbil walkway will be ready.”

The budget aims at establishing last mile connectivity through pod cars, internal metro, new Thane station, inland water transport and grade separators at Teen Hath Naka. The coastal road from Kapurbawdi to Gaimukh and the Yeoor foothill roads will be an alternative to Ghodbunder Road. “Apart from the main metro line from Wadala to Kasarvadavli, we have planned an internal metro of 28 km which will have 22 stations. We plan to complete all approvals in a year and issue the work order by March 2019,” said Jaiswal.

Jaiswal added, “The state will hand over the mental hospital land for construction of new Thane Station by April 14.”