BMC budget clear Shinde’s schemes ahead of Lok Sabha polls

The budget, totaling Rs 599,954.75 crore, includes substantial provisions for various schemes promoted by CM Shinde, marking a potential shift in political influence

Mumbai: The budget for the financial year 2024-25 presented by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which runs the country’s financial capital Mumbai, bears the stamp of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as majority of schemes proposed by him find a substantial provision in the funds.

CM Shinde in recent days has launched several schemes in Mumbai like deep cleaning programme, zero prescription policy in civic hospitals, financial assistance for physically challenged people, air pollution mitigation, Mumbai beautification project, clean Mumbai helpline, Aapla Dawakhana (people’s clinic), urban greening project and women safety campaign in recent months.

All the initiatives promoted by Shinde have received sizable funds from the BMC in its budget, which was presented by the municipal commissioner IS Chahal on Friday. The total size of the budget is Rs 599954.75 crore, which is 10.5 percent higher than the last year.

The move to allot funds to the CM’s schemes is seen as a desperate effort by Shinde and (its ally BJP) to snatch the BMC’s power from the Shiv Sena UBT party, which has ruled the BMC for 25 years.

In the absence of elected representatives (corporators), the BMC presently is being run by Chahal, who was appointed as an administrator by the State Government after the five-year term of corporators ended in March 2022. This was his second budget as an administrator.

The BMC is the richest municipal corporation in the country and its annual budget is higher than even small states like Kerala, Goa and north-east states.

One of the major features of the budget is the development of a climate budget this year to combat air pollution, which will be the first ever Green Budget Book of the city. The book will be a dedicated climate budget for the city. This will have initiative for systematically reducing emissions and enhancing climate resilience.

The book will have initiatives like developing gardens, implementing MCAP strategies along with projects like Renewable Hybrid Energy and waste to energy plans. This comes as the city has been struggling with the worst air quality ever.

In a bid to electrify public transportation, the BMC has allotted a total budget provision of Rs 928.65 crore as a grant to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). For procurement and deployment of 2000 electric buses within Mumbai, the BMC will be funding Rs 128.65 crore. The rest of the funding for the project, which has been pegged at Rs 2,573 crore is expected from the World Bank in the form of a soft loan.

The civic body has not announced any new project for the year 2024-25 and focused on funding the ongoing big-ticket infrastructure projects. For its ambitious Mumbai Coastal Road Project, the BMC has allocated a fund of Rs 2,900 crore.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story