Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The Narmada Phase IV, for which budgetary provision of Rs 1,500 crore has been made this year, would be able to meet the water needs of the city up to 2035, claimed mayor-in-council member Abhishek Sharma during IMC council meeting on budget on Friday.
“As of now, a DPR of Rs 1651 crore under AMRUT 2.0 scheme has been sent to the state government. In next two to three months we will float tenders and the scheme will be implemented in next two years, by 2025. The scheme will take water capacity of the city to 900 MLD which will meet residents’ water requirements till 2035.” Sharma said
As per projection by Indore Municipal Corporation, the population of Indore would reach 58.7 lakh in 2040 and the city would require around 1100 MLD of water for its people. The estimated population of Indore would be around 90 lakh in 2050 and residents would require around 1621 MLD water by then.
After more than 8 hours of discussion, IMC’s budget of Rs 7473 crore for financial year 2023-24 got approved with a majority in the council meeting which was dominated by issues relating to contaminated water, stray dogs, digital city and solar city projects.
Many times heated exchanges took place between BJP and Congress corporators so much so that on one occasion Speaker Munna Lal Yadav had turned off the microphone thrice.
Mayor Pushyamitra Bhargav presented the budget on Thursday. Friday was reserved for discussion and approval of the budget.
Meagre provisions for digital, solar city
Chouksey said that the mayor has proposed to make Indore a digital city and solar city with mere provisions of Rs 60 crore and Rs 50 crore respectively. He stated that establishing 150 free Wi-Fi zones will not make Indore a digital city. The same goes for installation of some solar power panels.
He stated that the budget should have focused on providing basic amenities to people.
Chouksey questioned the mayor for presenting Rs 7473 crore budget when the civic body's total income is a mere Rs 2000 crore including government grants.
"From where will Rs 7473 crore be arranged, when the Municipal Corporation's total income is only Rs 2000 crore including grants by both - central government and state government," he said.
Citing Beleshwar Temple tragedy which claimed 36 lives, the LoP said that the IMC action did not last for more than three days when the public was expecting a massive drive to ensure no such incident is repeated. He said that all water bodies including the ill-fated bawdi at Patel Nagar should be rejuvenated.
Around 70K stray dogs still to be sterilized
MiC member Ashwini Shukla informed the House that nearly 1.6 lakh stray dogs were sterilized so far, but another 70,000 dogs are yet to be sterilized. He said that IMC is increasing the number of agencies involved in dog sterilization.
Cong tried to sell Lalbagh, claims Chouhan
Heated exchanges took place between BJP and Congress corporators when saffron party corporator Niranjan Singh Chouhan claimed that when the Congress was in power they had tried to sell Lalbagh Palace. He stated that Chouksey had suggested setting up Devi Ahilya museum at Lalbagh instead of Ahilya Lok at Rajwada.
No deadline for solar and digital city: Cong
Congress corporator Fauzia Shekih Alim stated that the mayor had not set any deadline for developing Indore as a solar and digital city. She suggested establishment of free WiFi zones in government schools for education instead of the same at 150 squares in the city.
Digital thrust to give many benefits: Mayor
Speaking on the budget, the mayor said that some Congress corporators stated that the budget should have focussed on basic amenities. Giving an example of water distribution system in the city, he stated that water-related problems will be resolved through digital projects.
“When we will do a digital mapping of this city, we will see pipelines underground through digital meters. Then, the corporators who have three\four pipelines in their locality would not have to come to IMC for new pipelines. Another sewerage line won’t be laid over an already laid sewerage line as digital meters will detect them,” he said.
The mayor stated that Indore is not only No 1 in cleanliness and its snacks but it is also No 1 in consuming the costliest water in the country. Indore consumes water @ Rs 21 per kilolitre, he added.
The mayor also took a dig at the Opposition party by saying that no public representative from the Opposition party submitted online suggestions for the budget.
Chouksey dubs budget ‘paper flower’
The session started with Leader of Opposition Chintu Chouksey’s address, and he dubbed the budget as a bunch of ‘paper flowers’. “The mayor’s 100-day plan was a damp squib. And this budget is nothing but a bunch of ‘paper flowers’,” he said.
A flower is our party’s symbol: Mayor
Replying to Chouksey’s flower-budget barb, mayor Pushyamitra Bhargav said that his party symbol is a flower. And everybody knows that we can emit fragrance from paper flowers also, he said.
This also happened during the council meet
BJP corporators didn’t let the proceedings of the house to start until LoP Chintu Chouksey apologised for his move of climbing on the Speaker's dais. On Thursday, Chouksey had gone on to the Speaker's dais after the latter announced the closure of the council's budgetary meet and the national anthem was about start.
Congress corporators objected to MiC member Ashwini Shukla’s narration of stories during the discussion on the budget. Congress corporators asked him not to share stories related to love marriage, rings, grandfather, etc during the serious official discussion.
A Congress corporator invited the ire of the ruling party corporators as he called a corporator, who had switched to BJP ahead of the municipal election, a “Gaddar”.
The mayor hailed three women corporators who shared their views on the budget in English.
Contaminated water, no drainage: BJP corporator complains
Causing embarrassment to party ruled council, BJP corporator Lal Bahadur questioned Speaker Munna Lal Yadav as to why corporators were not allowed to speak in the House when the latter asked Mayor-in-Council member Ashwini Shukla to keep his view on budget.
Lal Bahadur said he is a three-time corporator but never gets a chance to speak. "People in my ward are being supplied contaminated water, there is no proper drainage system," he complained.
Congress corporators hailed Lal Bahadur for "speaking the truth". Countering this, MiC member Shukla said that BJP has a democratic system and Lal Bahadur's statement is proof.
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