Cuttack, Feb. 11: Cuttack Municipal Corporation’s draft budget for this year has renewed its focus to provide better civic amenities to the residents here.
In the 2013-14 draft budget, the corporation has allocated Rs 245.51 crore, which is Rs 51 crore more than that of the previous year, to improve the city’s basic infrastructure.
“This year’s is a pro-people budget estimate to provide better road network, drainage and sanitation facilities to the city residents. About 25 per cent of the budget (Rs 60.40 crore) has been allocated for providing basic services to the urban poor,” Mayor Saumendra Ghosh told The Telegraph.
In 2012, the corporation had allotted Rs 17.79 crore under the category of public convenience that included improvement of roads, drains and street lighting. This amount has been raised to Rs 31.11 crore in this year’s draft budget.
In the current fiscal, Rs 5.5 crore has been kept for improving drainage, while Rs 4.5 crore has been proposed for repair and renovation of roads.
Substantial hikes have also been made in the budget for mosquito control, public health improvement, and betterment of sanitation and medical services.
“The draft budget allocation proposal has been presented before the council by the municipal commissioner after the standing committee for finance, taxation and accounts dissociated itself from the process. It will be taken up for a detailed discussion and approval on February 12,” the mayor said.
“The standing committee distanced itself from the budget estimate preparation process as making a budget proposal in a haphazard manner, giving a go-by to recommendations given by it related to expenditure and non-submission of utilisation records had become a practice with the municipal administration,” Akhay Beura, head of the standing committee for finance, taxation and accounts told The Telegraph.
Civic officials conceded that some projects that were listed in special category in the budgets of previous years had not yet been taken up for implementation.
These include construction of an art gallery, an old-age home, vending zones, a multiplex, a municipal dispensary and a foot over-bridge. Non-receipt of expected special grants from the government was stated to be the reason for their non-implementation.
“But now, we have new special projects such as construction of a modern gymnasium, beautification of important junctions of the Ring Road along the banks of Rivers Mahanadi and Kathajodi by installing statues and sculptures, and construction of a yatri niwas (rest house) at Balikuda and OMP square,” said a senior civic official. A sum of Rs 13.35 crore has been allotted for the special projects in the draft budget.
While the expenditure estimate for 2013-14 has been pegged at 245.51 crore, the projected receipts for the year has been calculated at an approximate of Rs 245.68 crore.