133 of the 198 wards got funds lower than the average
While presenting the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for 2013-14, Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy said stress will be given to the development of outer wards. However, this is not the case, as found out by Janaagraha, a not-for-profit organisation.
After analysing the Rs. 8,520-crore budget, the organisation found that there is asymmetry in the allocations for inner and outer wards, despite the population increase in the outer wards.
Srikanth Viswanathan, coordinator, advocacy, research and capacity building at Janaagraha, told reporters here on Friday that the allocation of funds to the outer wards is not commensurate with the population increase.
He said that of the total budget outlay, only Rs. 647 crore (around eight per cent) is assignable to the various wards. The remaining funds have been budgeted without specifying the location where the projects/ works will be taken up.
Though the population has grown by 119 per cent in the 62 outer wards, they get just Rs. 149 crore (of the Rs. 647 crore).
While the population growth in the 136 inner wards is just 19 per cent, these wards have got an allocation of a whopping Rs. 498 crore, he stated.
Among the top 10 wards that have received generous funds, which are incidentally all inner wards, are Katriguppe (Rs. 31 crore), Vasanthnagar (Rs. 30 crore) and Byrasandra (Rs. 26 crore). Nine of these top 10 wards are represented by councillors from the BJP, which is the ruling party in the BBMP council.
He added that the average ward allocation is around Rs. 3.3 crore. However, 27 of the 30 wards with the lowest Ward Quality Score (WQS), as per Janaagraha’s WQS 2013 survey, have received an average of only Rs. 1.6 crore. Janaagraha also found that 133 wards of the 198 have been allocated budgets lower than the average. Of the 10 wards with the highest increase in population (as per Census 2011), only two wards — Begur and Horamavu — have received an above average budget allocation.
Mr. Viswanathan said the average allocation for Assembly constituencies is around Rs. 30 crore. The bottom four Assembly constituencies (as per WSQ 2013) — Dasarahalli, Mahadevapura, Yeshwantpur and Byatarayanapura — have received budgets below the average. The top Assembly constituencies — Jayanagar, Yelahanka, B.T.M. Layout, Shivajinagar and Malleswaram — have received more that the average.
At a category level, while roads get the highest share of 41.5 per cent of the total budget, footpaths, lakes and trees get a measly 1 per cent each, while parks and playgrounds have got less than 1 per cent.
While storm water drains got 7.8 per cent, public amenities get 4.9 per cent and garbage gets 2.8 per cent. Overheads and related expenses accounted for 24 per cent.
All these data are part of the city budget briefs that will be shared with the elected representatives and citizens’ groups. Janaagraha hopes to encourage data-driven debates regarding budgetary allocations in the BBMP council and among citizens.
This data is available on www.ichangemycity.com