Major BMC depts spent less than 30% of funds allotted this year

The Rs 27,000-crore cash rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent less than 30 per cent of its estimated budget on some of its major departments this fiscal year. While more than Rs 1,110 crore was allotted for the Solid Waste Management Department (SWD), only Rs 289 crore or 9 per cent of the total amount was spent.

Yet another major department, which has failed to spend a substantial amount of its allocated budget even after eight months of the financial year, is the roads and traffic department. The department was allotted more than Rs 1,545 crore but spent only 17 per cent of it.

“The delay this year was because some major tenders were pending. For instance, the eastern suburbs road work, for which we had allotted about Rs 180 crore, got cleared only last week by the Supreme Court,” said SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, in charge of the roads department.

The BMC had not been able to carry out road improvement works in the eastern suburbs for over a year owing to a legal battle between two contractors, who competed for works planned last fiscal.

Another reason for the delay, as cited by civic officials, was the revised schedule of rates in the roads department. “This is probably the first time in four-five years that we had to revise the rates. Most of the road works that were to be passed by September-October had to go for revision in those two months. If we had gone on schedule, we would have completed it by August,” Srinivas added.

The total budget spent this year stands at 17 per cent as compared to 19 per cent utilised in the previous fiscal.

The fire department spent 2 per cent of its budget this year as compared to 7 per cent last year. A crucial proposal to buy snorkel ladders to tackle blazes in highrises is still pending. The proposal for acquiring a snorkel for the Gowalia Tank fire station, with a capacity to go up to 90 ft, was floated around two years ago. The tender has been stuck due to bureaucratic delays.

… contd.


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