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Bright road pledge in budget

The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) board on Friday passed a deficit budget of Rs 28,45,34,791 having provision for non-planned expenditure, vital for covering manholes to avoid accidents and cleaning drains before monsoon to steer clear of flooding.

Funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 lakh have been allocated to the municipal commissioner and executive officers, respectively, under the non-plan expenditure head in the new budget. The money can be used in executing small but vital works like covering manholes or cleaning drains.

Praising the budget, additional municipal commissioner Sheshank Shekhar Sinha told The Telegraph: “This budget is highly progressive because provision has been made for non-planned expenditure. It was observed in the previous years that work like cleaning drains used to be delayed because funds had to be carved out from the planned expenditure. That problem will not arise now.”

The budget projecting revenue of Rs 3,32,73,30,976, including Rs 1,28,43,32,293 available as opening balance, promises bright roads to citizens. Rs 1.5 crore has been set aside for purchasing new streetlights and maintaining the existing ones. Another Rs 4 crore has been earmarked for traffic signals.

The total expected expenditure has been pegged at Rs 3,61,18,65,767, bringing the quantum of deficit (for the sixth time in a row) in the current budget down by around Rs 20 crore than that in the last budget. The civic body officials attributed the dip in the deficit to hike in collection of taxes from various sources.

“The state urban development and housing department has come up with several policy measures. Based on them, we are expecting our revenue collection from property taxes would increase by 2.5 times in the next fiscal,” said the PMC mayor, Afzal Imam.

Check out how much of extra revenue would be passed on to you:

Waste watch

Concern: Solid waste

Funds: Rs 29.45 crore

Reality check: “The PMC board has already approved the execution of the solid waste management projects in the state capital under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). We will float tenders in a couple of weeks,” said deputy mayor Rup Narain Mehta.

Hole-hit

Concern: Manhole cover

Funds: Rs. 1.5 crore

Reality check: “The condition of manholes in the city is pretty bad. Half of them are not covered. The covers of the rest are mostly damaged,” said former deputy mayor of PMC Vinay Kumar Pappu.

Sting machine

Concern: Fogging machine

Funds: Rs 20 lakh for procurement and Rs 15 lakh for operation

Reality check: “The corporation has three fogging machines and we will purchase another within a month. We want to have 72 fogging machines, so that each ward has its own machine to drive away mosquitoes,” said PMC commissioner Adesh Titarmare.

Pure for sure

Concern: Operation and maintenance of water supply

Funds: Rs. 11.52 crore

Reality check: Work on a new water supply project for Patna under the JNNURM is being executed by Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation for the PMC. Total 72 overhead tanks are being constructed. Treated Ganga water would be supplied to the northern part of the city. The south would get underground water,” said Rup Narain Mehta, deputy mayor, PMC.

In a shambles

Concern: Dilapidated Mauryalok

Funds: Rs 10 lakh

Reality check: “The master plan for the renovation of Mauryalok Complex prepared by architect Hafeez Contractor is under the consideration of the civic body,” said mayor Afzal Imam.

Car space

Concern: Parking area

Funds: Nil

Reality check: “Barring Boring Canal Road and one or two other places, there is hardly any properly maintained parking lot in the city. Most of them are encroached upon. It is shocking that no funds have been allocated for the betterment of the parking lots a year after Rs 8 lakh was allocated for the same,” said Sushma Sahu, the councillor of ward number- 38.

Flood fear

Concern: Storm water drainage

Funds: Rs 29.84 crore

Reality check: “In order to prepare for monsoon, the work for maintenance and repair of drainage network and sump houses would start from April 1 and continue till June 15,” said the mayor.

Here they come

Facility: Official residence of mayor and municipal commissioner, and municipal guesthouse

Funds: Rs. 1.7 crore

Reality check: “For the first time, funds have been allocated for building residences of the corporation heads and guesthouse. It would be a benchmark for other urban local bodies in the state. The work would be initiated soon,” said Abha Lata, a member of the PMC’s standing committee and councillor from ward number-4.