Rising expenditure on the pandemic and revenue being hit, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) this year is planning to cut down funds meant for pre-monsoon works. The pre-monsoon work includes important works such as combing operations to clean mosquito breeding spots, including nullah/ drain cleaning etc.
Since last year, BMC’s income has taken a hit during the Covid-19-induced lockdown restrictions, as the earnings under several heads such as property and water taxes, development charge etc; have dipped because of the viral outbreak. The entire year BMC's property tax department worked hard to reach the annual target.
Despite major challenges posed by the covid 19 pandemics, The BMC spent Rs. 9,676.97 crore on capital expenditure against the allotted budget of Rs. 10,903.58 crore in fiscal 2020-21, i.e. 88.75 per cent of the total provisions. This is also the highest spend on infrastructure and development projects in the last eleven years.
Last year in September BMC’s general body slashed Rs 2,500 crore from the funds allocated to various infrastructure projects in Mumbai such as coastal road, Gargai dam and road works. The civic body had also asked all its departments to slash their revenue expenditure by at least 20 per cent.
With monsoon approaching, various departments need to activate their manpower and equipment before and during the monsoon. Small drains are cleaned at the departmental level. Since the BMC does not have enough manpower to carry out this work across the city, contract workers are needed to be hired. "We have to depend on the contract workers for works like drain cleaning, desilting, fogging, combing operation for clearing mosquito breeding spots etc. Besides, some works require the purchase of vehicles and other machinery on a contract basis. With the administration cutting funds by 20 to 30 per cent in the budget things look difficult. We will have to look at cost-cutting measures," said a BMC official.