The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Asia's richest civic body, has presented its budget for the year 2019-20. The BMC commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, presented the budget of Rs 30,692.59 crore for this year, which is 12.6 per cent more than the last year's Rs 27,258 crore.
In the election year, out of the total budget, 51 per cent will be used for roads and storm water drains. Another 13 per cent has been reserved for the health department.
The capital expenditure for the year 2019-20 has been proposed at Rs 11,480 crore, up by 20.2 per cent from the last year's budget of Rs 1,933 crore. The key focus seems to be on infrastructure.
The corporation has set aside Rs 1,600 crore for the ambitious Coastal Road project and another Rs 100 crore for Goregaon-Mulund Link Road. For Mumbai Development Plan 2034, a separate provision of Rs 3323.6 crore has been proposed.
After an alarming rise in the fire accidents, the corporation has increased the allocation for the fire department. It has now been proposed at Rs 177.3 crore against Rs 151.6 crore last year.
The recent spat with the BEST Undertaking also finds a mention in the budget. A provision of Rs 34 crore has been set aside for capital investment to upgrade the services while Rs 10 crore has been assigned for the welfare of the BEST employees.
But the income from Property Tax, the highest income generating department for the BMC, for the year 2018-19 has come down from an estimated Rs 5,206 crore to Rs 5016 crore. This, Mr Mehta said, is because of the slowdown in the real estate sector.
But the opposition is terming it as an "unrealistic" budget.
"In the election year, the work will not be done when you have code of conduct for general as well as state elections, then how are you expecting that within 3-4 months you will spend this money?" Ravi Raja, leader of opposition, BMC, told NDTV.