Mumbai Coastal Road Project
Mumbai Coastal Road Project
Screengrab of BMC video

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) still has 52% of the unused funds allotted for various development works and big-ticket municipal projects last year, it has already spent 80% of the estimated capital in the ambitious Coastal Road Project (CRP).

Last year, the BMC had announced a Rs 33,441 crore overall municipal budget for 2020-21, of which an estimated amount of Rs 11,674 crores was allotted for various development works. But till December 31, 2020, the BMC has been able to spend only Rs 5744 crores, which is 48% of the total amount.

The BMC had allotted Rs 1,500 crores for the coastal road project of which it has already spent Rs 1,189 crores (80% of the allotted amount) till December 31. Meanwhile half of the funds allotted for other development projects and big-ticket projects are still unused.

Till December, only 21% of the allotted funds have been used for solid waste management and transport, 44% of the funds have been used for stormwater drains, 28% of the funds have been used for sewage disposal, 34% have been used for water supply and 63% of the allotted funds have been used for traffic operations, bridges, and roads.

Senior civic officials have stated, the coastal road project has been a top priority for the civic body as delaying it would have resulted in more losses to the state government and BMC.

"The coastal road project has witnessed a record progress in the last one year, we have initiated the tunnel boring works and also reclamation work is going on at a fast-paced level, this project has been delayed for many years now and delaying the project any further would have resulted in further loss to the BMC and state government," said a senior official of coastal road project department.

Officials also mentioned that many of the developmental works have started post-monsoon and the billing of the projects are yet to be done.

"Due to the pandemic a number of the developmental projects got delayed also there has been a dearth of manpower, however, post-monsoon work resumed in full force, the target achieved in such a short time is commendable and the administration is doing everything possible to better its funds," said another official.

Meanwhile, leaders of opposition parties of the BMC have blamed the civic administration for manipulating funds. Congress corporator and leader of the opposition (LoP) Ravi Raja has demanded a white paper seeking details of the finances, on the other hand, BJP group leader, Prabhakar Shinde has stated that BMC is on the verge of getting bankrupt.

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