Kolkata Municipal Corporation did not reserve funds for the boroughs in added areas, a term for places like Kasba, Jadavpur and Garden Reach, in this year’s budget presented on Wednesday.
Instead, all funds of the civic body will be available for use in any of the wards.
Officials said that from the 2022-23 fiscal, proposals for work in any ward will be approved based on necessity and merit.
Till 2021-22, boroughs X to XVI — the added areas — used to have separate funds at their disposal. In contrast, the other boroughs — I to X — had a single pool of funds.
From the current fiscal, all 16 boroughs will have a single pool, an official said.
“We will not use the word ‘added areas’ any longer. We will from now use the term ‘backward wards’ for those that are lagging in amenities. Some of the backward wards are wards 58 and 59, which are not among the added areas,” said mayor Firhad Hakim.
Officials said wards 58 and 59 (in the Tangra-Topsia area) lag in civic amenities compared with many wards in Behala, Jadavpur and Garden Reach, which are among the added areas.
Hakim said the KMC would focus on development in wards identified as ‘backward’.
There are many wards in added areas that are better developed than some wards in other areas, Hakim said. But there are still many wards in added areas that remain underdeveloped.
Wards 101 to 144 (boroughs XI to XVI) are called added areas because they were merged with the KMC later. Wards 101 to 142 were added in 1984, during the Left Front regime, and the other three wards - all in Joka – after Trinamul came to power.
A Trinamul councillor said the move to de-reserve funds would help bigger wards get more funds. “If funds are disbursed based on merit, larger wards will get more funds. Earlier, the stress was on equal distribution,” the councillor said.