Surat, the diamond city of India and winner of the Swachh Survekshan 2023 award for the cleanest city, is gearing up for a major infrastructural push with a whopping ₹4,100 crore allocated for development works in the 2024-25 budget. This ambitious plan, unveiled by Municipal Commissioner Shalini Agarwal, marks a significant investment in the city's future, aiming to elevate its livability and attract further growth.
Iconic Projects Drive Growth
The budget outlines several iconic projects that will transform Surat's landscape. The ₹237 crore Dumas beach sea face project promises to revitalize the popular tourist destination, while the ₹127 crore Barrage project on the Tapi river aims to improve water management and create recreational opportunities. A significant ₹100 crore has been earmarked for flood control structures along the Tapi river, ensuring the safety of residents during monsoons. Additionally, ₹165 crore will be dedicated to keeping the Tapi river clean, underlining the city's commitment to environmental sustainability.
Public Amenities and Civic Services Take Center Stage
Recognizing the importance of public well-being, the budget allocates ₹245 crore for a new administrative building for the Surat Municipal Corporation, enhancing efficiency and citizen services. Furthermore, ₹431 crores have been set aside for the construction of a 10.50-kilometre stretch of the Surat outer Ring Road project, easing traffic congestion and improving connectivity.
Tax Relief for Residents, Focus on Healthcare
Keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the budget prioritizes relief for urban residents by avoiding any increase in tax burden. This citizen-centric approach reflects the government's understanding of the need for affordability and inclusivity in Surat's development.
The budget also prioritizes healthcare with several unique initiatives. For the first time in Gujarat, immunization centers will be established in all urban health centers and 50-bed hospitals, ensuring wider access to essential vaccinations. Additionally, South Gujarat will receive its first state-of-the-art lab for pesticide residue testing in fruits and vegetables, promoting food safety.
SMIMER Hospital Gets a Boost
Surat's renowned SMIMER hospital is set for a major upgrade with a Rs 10 crore cath lab, providing advanced cardiac care for patients suffering from heart diseases, heart attacks, and irregular heartbeats. The hospital also plans to offer 10 super speciality treatments, further solidifying its position as a leading healthcare institution. A modern laboratory of Doctorology and Virology will be established at SMIMER, bolstering research and diagnostic capabilities.
Financial Strength and Record Spending
Municipal Commissioner Agarwal announced that the Surat Municipal Corporation's revenue is expected to cross ₹5,000 crores for the first time this year. This robust financial standing allows for significant investments in infrastructure and public services without burdening taxpayers. Notably, 81 per cent of capital funds have already been spent in the current financial year, setting a record that is likely to be surpassed in the coming months.