BMC Budget: Only outlays and not outcomes
Activist Ashok R Datar says, despite the Mumbai municipal corporation having an plan outlay of over Rs37,000 crore for FY2016-17, there is not attempt by the budget to measure outcomes
 
The Budget of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is more than that of several states of India. For FY2016-17, the BMC Budget at Rs37,052 crore is significantly higher, up from Rs33,514 crore in the previous year. However, this Budget has only outlays and does not define outcomes of the money spent or earmarked for various activities, says Ashok R Datar, activist and chairman of Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN). He was speaking at Moneylife Foundation on "Unravelling the BMC Budget: For citizens' Participation".
 
“... (the) BMC budget is one of the biggest, using most advanced accounting software in the world. However, there are no numbers or date on quantities for several resources and expenditures. For example, there is no mention of number of properties tax before and after 2010 or the annual increase under this head. No data on dry waste and debris collected in tonnes per day is provided. There is also no information on number and names of contractors, listed by revenues/ expenditure."
 
 
The big issued he flagged is that we do not know how the money is spent. "The BMC has consistently not been utilising the entire allocation either. The city needs to have a waste segregation plan. There is a strong connection between waste and traffic. The approach to transporting waste has to change.
 
Every day Mumbai generates 9,600 metric tonnes of waste, which is collected and transported to landfills. According to the BMC’s budget document, the corporation spent around Rs 1,413 crore on solid waste management and transport in 2012-2013. This has risen to an estimated Rs 2,852 crore for 2016-17. 
 
 
Mr Datar says, "The cost to transport one kilogram of garbage comes to about Rs8, including salaries for around 35,000 employees. In addition, there is cost of diesel, the issues of traffic jams, which results in situations like floods and the Deonar dumping ground fires." 
 
"To work around the cost, we need to check out the possibility to levy charge of Rs4 per kg from people for mixed waste, with no cost for segregated waste. We also need to think levying fines for littering road, using IT mapping," he added.
 
Mr Datar then explained about how BMC spends more money on education, as per the Budget document, compared with aided schools. He said, there are about 4.35 lakh students in municipal schools run by the BMC. In Mumbai, there are 1.63 lakh aided schools while the number of unaided schools is about 3 lakh. Considering, the BMC has total expenditure of Rs1,223 crore and number of teachers at about 13,500, the cost per student in municipal schools comes to around Rs36,000. This is way high compared with Rs17,000 in aided schools." 
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    COMMENTS

    Mahesh S Bhatt

    3 years ago

    What about footpaths being developed & re re re developed with paver tiles every 3-5 years?

    I have seen 3 changes in past 10 years cuddapah replaced paver tiles than another replacement why?

    Is it accounted?

    Mahesh Bhatt

    REPLY

    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    In Reply to Mahesh S Bhatt 3 years ago

    I fully agree with Mahesh S. Bhatt. Kadappa stones were laid on footh path for centuries. In early sixties and seventies, when such stones lose their abrasiveness, it was brought back by nailing each stone of the foot path by hammer.
    There is no uniformity in the shape, colour and thickness of the paving stone. Local corporators use their funds at their discretion at whims and fancies.

    SC imposes costs on states, UTs for not furnishing information

    These states and the UTs have been given three weeks time to respond

     

    The Supreme Court on Monday imposed cost of Rs.25,000 each on 26 states and seven union territories for not responding to the central government's communication seeking information on utilisation of funds for providing better and hygienic conditions in jails so that prisoners could lead a life with dignity.
     
    A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice N.V.Ramana imposed the cost on these states and union territories after it was told that only three states - Maharashtra, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir - have furnished information in response.
     
    Displeased over the cold attitude of the state governments towards the conditions of the prisoners, Justice Lokur said: "Just because some people are criminals or under trials, it does not mean that they would be treated like dirt."
     
    The court's observation came as Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Neeraj Kishan Kaul told the court that apart from Maharashtra, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, no other state has replied to the letter.
     
    These states and the UTs have been given three weeks time to respond.
     
    Counsel Gaurav Agrawal who is amicus curiae in the matter told the court that in some states, the overall number of prisoners lodged in the jail may be fine but within the states, there are jails where there is over-crowding.
     
    The court by February 5 direction had had said that the "director general of police/inspector general of police in-charge of prisons should ensure that there is proper and effective utilisation of available funds so that the living conditions of the prisoners is commensurate with human dignity. This also includes the issue of their health, hygiene, food, clothing, rehabilitation etc".
     
    The directions had come in pursuance to the hearing on the matter that the court had taken up in 2013 following receipt of a letter from former chief justice of India R.C.Lahoti pointing to inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons in India.
     
    Besides states not replying to the centre's communication, the court also took exception to the usage of words, "other causes of (unnatural) death" used in the response filed by the government on the causes of unnatural deaths of prisoners in the prisons.
     
    Asking its meaning and ASG Kaul told the court that he too raised the issue with the officials.
     
    The court also inquired about the compensation in such cases. "What about the compensation. Are you giving compensation (to prisoners who suffer unnatural deaths). Have you asked the states to pay compensation?" 
     
    In another matter relating to juvenile justice and also in this, the court chided the National Legal Service Authority for not extending the legal aid to the under trial prisoners.
     
    "For children, you are not giving legal aid. For adults, you are not giving legal aid. What are you doing. Whom are you giving legal aid to," the court asked.
     
    As NALSA sought more time for developing module for the training of lawyers, Justice Lokur said that they were supposed to complete it by December 31, then sought another three months, but was given time till January end and "now you are again seeking another three months".
     
    Telling the counsel for NALSA that there were complaints against the body, the bench said: "Your position is 'You will not let anyone do it, and (you) we will not do it (yourself)'."
     
    "If you don't do it by next date, we will ask someone else to do it," it warned.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    J Pinto

    3 years ago

    In Japan the elderly citizens who have run out of money are committing petty crimes like shoplifting to enjoy Sarkari hospitality.

    MNREGA at Rs 200 per day for 6 months of the year is definitely a more economical option for the nation.

    India's fastest train flagged off

    The semi-high speed train, travelling at 160 kmph, will operate between the Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station

     

    Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, from Nizamuddin Railway station here.
     
    The semi-high speed train, travelling at 160 kmph, will operate between the Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station. 
     
    "Launching of Gatimaan Express is an important step for railways. Our drive to scale new heights continues unabated," said Prabhu at the launch. 
     
    Prabhu also inaugurated an executive lounge at Agra Cantt railway station via remote from Delhi.
     
    The Gatimaan Express will run six days a week. It comprises of two executive AC chair cars and eight AC chair car coaches. The fare for a single AC chair car seat will be Rs.750, and that for the executive AC chair car seat Rs.1,500.
     
    The new train also provides on-board entertainment facility including free WiFi. 
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
     
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