BMC Budget 2020: Travel fare concessions for senior citizens, differently-abled passengers

India's richest civic body on Tuesday unveiled its Budget for 2020-21 with a total outlay of Rs 33,441 crore.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's total budget estimates for the next financial year are 8.95% more than the last fiscal when it had presented a budget of Rs 30,692 crore, which was 12.5% higher than the 2018-19 estimates.

The budget was presented in the standing committee of the civic body by BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

Among several other initiatives, the BMC also unveiled plans to provide 50% concession for senior citizens while travelling in non AC buses. According to the Budget, Rs 3 crore is the proposed amount for this project.

The Corporation also suggested a full concession in bus fares for blind and differently-abled commuters when travelling in Non-AC BEST buses. A fund of Rs 6 crores is proposed for the project.

On a similar tangent, the BMC also said that self propelled scooters with side wheels will be provided for differently-abled people. For the procurement of the same, Rs 70,000 will be provided to the beneficiaries. Rs 5 crore is the proposed amount, and there are total 511 beneficiaries.

The Budget proposed allocation of Rs 1500 crore allotted for BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport). These funds will be used for the repayment of procured loans for new buses under wet-lease, to fulfill financial obligations arising from wage management and for the implementation of the ITMS (intelligent traffic management system) project.

In August 2019, the then Maharashtra cabinet had approved Rs. 891 crore to implement the ITMS project. As per a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office at the time, Mumbai's population is around 1.30 crore and its surface area is 438 square km. There are around 34 lakh vehicles in Mumbai, with 261 out of 1000 persons in the city owning a vehicle, it had said. The ITMS project was to be implemented on Mumbai's 2000-kilometre-long road network and on the city's bridges and flyovers.

The BMC has proposed a higher expenditure on roads and infrastructure, increasing the allotted amount to Rs 1810.97 crores. This includes major projects, traffic operation and bridges. The Mumbai coastal road budget has been increased to Rs 2000 crore.

The BMC has also proposed the extension of the Goregaon link road by 12.2 kms in the Budget.

A Budget of Rs 799.67 crore has been proposed by the BMC for the expenditure on bridges, while the civic body allotted Rs 170.79 crore for tunnel works and water conveyance.

(With inputs from agencies)

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