NMMC cuts budget for mega projects to tide over fund crisis
CBD BELAPUR: In a major decision, NMMC, which has been facing a major financial crunch, has revised its budget spending, relegating several mega projects announced earlier by the ruling NCP, to the back burner and using the funds for more urgent works that are required for the functioning of the city.
The proposal presented in the general body on Friday increased the spending on important civic works like repair and maintenance of roads and footpaths, holding ponds, gardens, crematoriums, toilets and security from Rs224 crore to Rs377 crore.
Spending on big-ticket projects was reduced by over half from Rs281 crore to Rs128 crore.
The ruling NCP had prior to the Lok Sabha, assembly and finally civic elections in April this year approved projects worth hundreds of crores in a hurry. The huge burden on the civic body did not seem to be a concern as the election loomed large. The decisions brought the civic body to bankruptcy as LBT, its main source of income, was abolished.
The projects that have now been sidelined are the ones that the NCP had repeatedly showcased during its election campaign.
With the civic body finding it difficult to meet its regular expenses to maintain the city, it has undertaken a review of the previously approved projects.
According to NMMC sources, the administration has already decided to cancel the proposals of all the corporators who have lost. It is believed that the decision will provide a relief of Rs250 crore to the administration.
The mega projects taken up by the administration were following the instructions of former guardian minister and NCP leader Ganesh Naik.
An NMMC source said: “The projects will remain on the back burner until the financial position of the civic body improves. Tough decisions have to be taken to tide over the financial crisis. Taking up populist projects is not going to help. The priority is providing the basic needs.”
We have only taken a review of the expenses that need to be made till the end of the current financial year. The funds that will not be used for particular projects in this period have been diverted for works that need to be taken up.
SUDHAKAR SONAWANE, mayor