The integration of solid waste management user fee with property tax, a reiteration of the commitment to improve interior roads using special grants from the Government and the construction of houses for economically and socially backward groups are the some of the highlights of the Mangalore City Corporation for 2010-11.
The budget, presented by Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation, Finance and Appeals Roopa D. Bangera here on Wednesday, also proposes speedy issuance of birth and death certificates.
The integration of the waste management user fee with property tax has been prompted by the refusal by many residents to pay the monthly fee of about Rs. 20 for door-to-door collection of garbage as it is not compulsory. However, Corporation Commissioner K.N. Vijayaprakash said the merger would be implemented only after the corporation migrated from the present six-package solid waste management system to a three-package system.
Mr. Vijayaprakash said that the Government had already fixed certain tariffs to be collected as cess on property tax towards solid waste management; these rates would be applicable once the new system was in place.
It has also been proposed in the budget that asphalting of interior roads in all wards will be given priority, using a part of the Rs. 100- crore special grant (second instalment) expected from the State Government. In the 2007-08 budget, the State Government had announced that the grant would be released to the corporation over two years. Ms. Bangera said that the Government had released Rs. 57 crore so far.
The corporation also plans to construct an apartment block at Mahakalipadpu for civic workers belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Non-staff members would be provided houses at Chilimbi Hills.
The other proposals include the reconstruction of the Kudmul Ranga Rao Memorial building at Bejai-Kapikkad, a samaja bhavan in the Scheduled Castes colony at Suterpet, a samudaya bhavan at Viveknagar in Ballalbagh and a plan for the integrated development of Viveknagar.
All these proposals have been made under the 22.75 per cent scheme meant for the uplift of the Scheduled Castes.
The budget also provides for the setting up of an entomology cell with the existing malaria cell in its office. Other proposals include rejuvenation of open wells and tanks, the introducing tatkal scheme for speedy issuance of birth and death certificates by charging a higher fee, introducing interactive voice response system for registering civic complaints, the complete computerisation of the MCC office, bus shelters at certain locations and fountains in parks.
Ms. Bangera presented a Rs. 2.25 lakh surplus budget. The total receipts have been estimated at Rs. 175.76 crore and expenditure at Rs. 175.74 crore.
Participating in the discussion, Mr. Vijayaprakash said that a new vented dam at Thumbe to supply drinking water to the city was being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 48.21 crore. The corporation would have to bear 33 per cent of the cost, he said. So far, the civic body had deposited Rs. 7 crore with the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, which is constructing the dam, he said. Another Rs. 2 crore had been reserved in the 2010-11 budget, he said.
Independent councillor Mariyamma Thomas described the budget as old wine in a new bottle. “There are no new schemes for the poor or the middle class,” she said.
The former Mayor M. Shankar Bhat called the budget a realistic one. Opposition members from the Congress walked out of the hall alleging that there was a lapse in procedure. They wanted to raise general issues during the meeting, but were refused permission by Mayor Rajani K. Dugganna as it was a budget meeting.
Later, the Commissioner said that there was no lapse in procedure in presenting the budget.