Implementation of the smart city project is likely to take centre stage the Bhopal Municipal Corporation's second budget on Saturday. The cash-strapped civic body's budget initiatives are likely to improve on tax collection and higher expenditure on infrastructure development.
According to sources, this year's expenditure is likely to surpass Rs 3,300 crore backed by development of proposed smart city project at Shivaji Nagar and allied pan-city proposals. Besides, the civic body would also entail provisions for ambitious 85-km metro rail project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Japanese agency has agreed for funding phase 1 of the project in Bhopal pegged at an estimated Rs 8,000 crore.
However, the Union government's budget 2016-17 does not mention funding for metro rail in Bhopal. The Centre's contribution is 20 per cent of the project cost.
In the past few months, Mayor Alok Sharma has also hinted at taxing electricity discoms to raise the BMC revenue.
Other proposals include a cess on fuel. Both the proposals are pending with the government for approval, sources said. Smart city project, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), state government-backed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management are likely to be key initiatives to look forward to in the long term.
In short term, cycle track along the BRTS would get a nod in the budget along with solar street light, GIS system and more.
All these projects mirror announcements made in the previous budgets.
Source: The Times of India