Deccan Chronicle

State budget: City civic bodies expect handsome share

Deccan Chronicle.| Maddy Deekshith

Published on: March 6, 2022 | Updated on: March 7, 2022

The HMDA is expecting allocations for long-pending projects including Rs 250 cr for the Hyderabad Habitat Centre and Rs 2,000 crore for ORR

Finance minister T. Harish Rao     DC Image

Finance minister T. Harish Rao DC Image

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has sought Rs 3,000 crore and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) Rs 1,500 core in the state budget.

According to highly-placed sources, the HMDA is expecting special allocations for long-pending major projects including Rs 250 crore for the Hyderabad Habitat Centre (HHC) and Rs 2,000 crore for outer ring road (ORR). It has also requested for allotment of funds for five packages on the ORR under Build Operate Transfer (BOT) as Rs 332.85 crore needs to be released annually to the concessionaires. The government has not allocated a paise to the HMDA for over the past five years.

The HMWS&SB has proposed to introduce its draft budget of Rs 2,700 crore. A lion’s share, Rs 1,000 crore, will be given for the ring main phase II project,
Rs 800 crore for free water drinking scheme and Rs 1,000 crore for the much-awaited sewerage master plan.

The financial condition of all nodal agencies would further deteriorate since they have to start repaying loans older than three years. Overall, the government has to allocate at least Rs 2,000 crore per nodal agency to rescue them from bankruptcy.

Things might turn even worse for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) if the government does not come to its rescue. In the next financial year, the corporation has to repay municipal bonds, rupee term loans and loans from financial institutions. Low revenue collection and unnecessary expenditure led to a deep financial crisis. The corporation has been repaying Rs 400 crore per month.

A senior municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) official, requesting anonymity, said the only hope for budgetary allocation was that technically it would be the last budget in the government's tenure. He said since the government would be dissolved in the next financial year, the government might give a decent allocation before going to polls in 2023.

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