BMC Headquarters in Mumbai. (Source: GPS/ Flickr)

BMC Unveils Rs 30,692-Crore Budget

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation unveiled its Rs 30,692-crore budget for 2019-20 with a focus on healthcare, primary education and a number of infrastructure projects.

The Mumbai civic body’s total budget estimates for the next financial year are 12.6 percent more than the last fiscal. In 2018-19, the country’s richest civic body presented a budget of Rs 27,258 crore, which was an increase of 8.4 percent over the 2017-18 estimates.

In its budget estimates for FY20, the BMC neither proposed any hike in the existing taxes nor announced any new levy. Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who presented the budget, said the civic body has primarily focused on important projects, mainly bridges, road and traffic, among others.

The cash-rich BMC in 2016-17 had presented its highest-ever budget of Rs 37,052 crore. It, however, slashed the budget size by about Rs 12,000 crore in the subsequent year calling it more “realistic”.

For implementation of the Development Plan 2034, a separate budget of Rs 3,323.64 crore has been proposed for 2019-20 for improving amenities.

Mehta earmarked Rs 4,151 crore for health and Rs 2,074 crore for primary education, which are 13 percent and 7 percent, respectively, of the total expenditure. Total establishment budget size stood at Rs 11,946 crore, which is 48 percent of the total revenue.

The BMC set aside funds for mega projects:

  • Coastal road: Rs 1,600 crore
  • Cycle track: Rs 120 crore
  • Goregaon-Mulund Link Road: Rs 100 crore
  • Waste-to-energy plant at Deonar: Rs 100 crore
  • Repairs of bridges: Rs 108 crore
  • Zoo development works: Rs 110 crore
  • Solid waste management: Rs 177 crore

They also include development of a textile museum, upgradation of Deonar abattoir, construction of Topiwala market, redevelopment of Sion Hospital premises, installation of CCTV cameras and footpath policy.

The civic body also made of provision of Rs 5 crore for the Bal Thackeray memorial, for which the Maharashtra government approved Rs 100 crore through the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

Clarifying over the memorial budget, Mehta said, “BMC had already done the work of soil-testing and related works. Besides, it had to foot some contingency bills, therefore, BMC made this provision.”

In addition, the BMC proposed Rs 44 crore as capital investment for the BEST undertaking and allocated Rs 3 crore for providing 50 percent concession to senior citizens travelling in buses operated by the civic transport utility whose employees went on a strike last month.

Among other projects, the civic body proposed Rs 2 crore for night shelter support system, Rs 1 crore for Mayor’s new bungalow in Dadar, Rs 5 crore for constructing a 16-storey building for working women in suburban Goregaon.

“We have focused on development projects for improvement of the city’s infrastructure like roads, storm waterdrains, bridges, solid waste management, water projects as well as to provide basic amenities to Mumbaikars,” Mehta said.