For the first time in its 134-year-old history, the country’s richest civic body, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s budget for 2023-2024 has crossed a staggering Rs 50,000-crore mark — higher than many of the smaller states in the country.
The budget estimates, presented on Saturday by BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal came ahead of the civic elections which are likely to be announced soon, and promised sustainable local economic development for the country’s commercial capital.
The budget estimates for the new fiscal is proposed at Rs 52,619.07 crore, an increase of 14.52 per cent over last year’s Rs 45,949.21 crore (2022-2023) and the previous year’s Rs. 39,083 crore (2021-2022).
Targetting a ‘net zero’ on the environment front in the near future, the budget emphasises rapid infrastructure development, cleanliness, health, education, urban greening and making monsoons hassle-free for the citizens.
For the first time in 38 years, the BMC is being run by an Administrator in the absence of an elected civic body and hence there was no Mayor, a General Body or Standing Committee for the budget presentation exercise on Saturday.
Chahal has also proposed a total Budget Provision of Rs 2,650-crore is proposed in the Revised Estimates (RE) for 2022-23 and Rs 3,545-crore in Business Estimates (BE) 2023-24 for the Coastal Road Project, one of the mega-infrastructure projects taken up by the BMC.
Hoping to give relief to Mumbai residents from monsoon floods, of the 386 chronic flooding spots, 306 have been tackled, 34 will be completed before the monsoon season 2023, and the remaining 6 later.
The BMC plans to plant 100,000 trees through ecologically sustainable planting practices, and Rs 1,729-crore shall be spent on various beautification initiatives for Mumbai bridges, footpaths, dividers, trees, etc.
Under the Ashray Yojana, the budget makes a provision of Rs 735.12-crore in the RE 2022-23 and Rs 1,491.50-crore in BE 2023-24.
A sum of Rs 227.07-crore is proposed to enhance the city’s fire-fighting forces in this budget.
There is a provision of Rs 887.88-crore (RE) and Rs 1,376-crore for the Water Supply Project, and Rs 2,021.06-crore (RE) and Rs 3,566.87-crore for the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project department.
The city’s BEST will get an assistance of Rs 800-crore for its various schemes, setting up a dedicated Climate Action Plan Cell (CAPC) and installing Air Purifiers at the most congested areas like Dahisar Toll Post, Mankhurd, Mulund Toll Post, Kalanagar Junction, and Haji Ali Junction, in 2023-2024.
Chahal assured that coming off the Covid-19 pandemic of the past two years, the civic body will make the citizens’ life more comfortable but will be “well-prepared” for a Covid wave or any other pandemic.