BMC Budget 2020: Mega push for infrastructure by civic body

Infrastructure development remained the key highlight of the municipal budget, presented on Tuesday, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allocating a major chunk of its resources for the purpose. The civic body’s infra push is also evident from the fact that it has allocated Rs 12,813 crore for various infrastructure and developmental projects from its Rs 33,441 crore budget.

In the 2019-20 fiscal, the civic body had presented a budget of Rs 30,692 crore but only utilised less than half of its total budget till December 31, 2019. Despite this, the civic body decided to give a push to big-ticket infra projects and other developmental initiatives.

“The budget will provide a fillip to infrastructure and civic amenities that will be completed in the next four or five years,” a senior civic official said. Like last year, this year too, the largest allocations went to big-ticket projects such as the coastal road, the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR), sewage treatment plants, augmentation of stormwater drains, minimising the quantum of waste at dumping grounds, including the waste-to-energy plant proposed at Deonar, improving the fire brigade’s firefighting capabilities and the Gargai-Pinjal water supply project.

While Rs 2, 000 crore has been earmarked for the Coastal Road project, the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project has got Rs 300 crore. The Gargai- Pinjal project, which will provide 440 MLD of additional water supply to Mumbai has been allocated Rs. 503.51 crore.

For stormwater drains and flood mitigation projects, Rs 912.10 crore has been set aside. In total, the allocation for road development, bridges, and traffic department is Rs 2,699.65 for fiscal 2020-21. Besides this, Rs 1,728.85 crore has been set aside for other water supply projects.

Interestingly the civic body has laid more emphasis on flood mitigation and improvement of its stormwater drains. To abate waterlogging in Mumbai, micro-planning for flood-prone spots across the city was done. In 2017-18, 273 flooding spots were identified, of which 204 spots were attended to, and remedial work to deal with the remaining 45 are underway.

The civic body hopes to complete the work by the onset of monsoon in 2020. The BMC is in the process of acquiring land in Mogra and Mahul, to construct two more stormwater pumping stations, which, it says will help in eliminating the ‘tidal effect’ on the stormwater drain network. For this, Rs 150 crore has been set aside. A total of Rs 912.10 crore has been allocated to projects connected to the SWD department, which includes river rejuvenation, adopting underground tunnels and underground reservoirs to store surplus floodwater.

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