Thiruvananthapuram

Civic body focusses on surviving health crises

Corpn. Budget allocates ₹25 cr. for medical support scheme

The city Corporation’s Budget for the financial year 2020-21, presented by Deputy Mayor Rakhi Ravikumar on Tuesday, reflected the unprecedented health crisis of the times, as one of the biggest of allocations went for a fund to fight such diseases. The first item in the Budget speech was a ₹25-crore allocation titled ‘Nadinte athijeevanam’, for medical support, provision of food and other items and awareness campaigns to fight diseases such as COVID-19.

The city Corporation’s ₹1,151.57 crore Budget for the financial year 2020-21 is a balancing act between social welfare, infrastructure development and service delivery. The estimated expenditure witnesses a slight reduction from the ₹1,213.22 crore estimated last year, out of which the Corporation managed to spend ₹958.67 crore, as per the revised estimates. The revised surplus in the previous year’s revised Budget is ₹222.57 crore, while this year it is estimated to be ₹ 136.55 crore.

One of the novel additions in the Budget is a fund of ₹5 crore for social infrastructure innovations, with the aim of promoting innovative solutions from start-ups for scientific processing of sewerage and solid waste. A city sanitation hub is also being planned at ₹5 crore, with aerobic bins, material recovery facilities and other waste management facilities. Decentralised septage treatment plants will be set up at ₹2 crore.

An allocation of ₹4 crore has been set aside for free Wi-Fi hubs across the city. E-Sakshya kiosks will be set up at 10 important points in the city, from where the public can take printouts of various documents.

Housing

Housing gets a hefty allocation, with ‘Snehasadanam’ project for constructing houses for those owning land has been allocated ₹30 crore. In addition, ₹10 crore has been allocated for construction of houses for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under the LIFE project. An amount of ₹1 crore has been allocated to make necessary arrangements in view of the State Cabinet’s recent decision to accord permission for commercial establishments, including restaurants to function round-the-clock.

With hardly a few months to go for the local body elections, it remains to be seen how many of these projects can be implemented.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:02:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/civic-body-focusses-on-surviving-health-crises/article31157751.ece

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