NMMC cuts bud­get for mega projects to tide over fund cri­sis

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

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