India’s richest civic body, Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), presented its annual budget for the year 2023-2024 on Saturday, estimated at ₹52,619 crore. The budget estimate is 14.52% higher than the 2022-23 amount of ₹45,949 crore.
The post COVID-19 budget for public health has reduced 9% from last year and stands at ₹6,309 crore, whereas ₹3,545 crore was allocated for the Mumbai Coastal Road project. A total of ₹20,859 crore is expected to be spent on various infrastructural capital projects, while the budget estimate for education has reduced from ₹3,370 crore to ₹3,347 crore. Mumbai’s BEST buses get a financial aid of ₹800 crore.
BMC commissioner I.S. Chahal tabled the budget and announced a seven-step strategy with an objective to reduce air pollution emissions.
Addressing a press conference after the presentation, Mr. Chahal said, “This is for the first time in the history of BMC that the budget estimates have crossed the ₹50,000 crore-mark.” In the budget, the civic administration has allocated ₹27,247.80 crore towards capital expenditure and ₹25,305.94 crore towards revenue expenditure.” He added, “It is for the first time that the civic body is going to spend 52% of the budget estimates on capital expenditure and 48% on revenue expenditure.”
The four major contributing factors to Mumbai’s deteriorating air quality were identified as: road and construction dust, traffic congestion, Industries and Power sector and waste burning. To address this emergency in the city, BMC allocated ₹25 crore and announced a seven-step strategy under the Clean Air Mumbai initiative, with an objective to reduce air pollution emissions.
The Mumbai Clean Air initiative will work towards three broad goals: To curb pollution concentration levels across various sectors; to initiate a multi-level monitoring strategy for the city; and to decentralise planning and increase community health awareness to reduce personal exposure.
To provide clean drinking water to students, 1,600 water purifiers will be installed in BMC schools with a budget provision of ₹1 crore. For social impact initiatives for women, differently abled, transgenders and senior citizens, ₹250 crore has been allotted.
Public works such as resurfacing of roads, repaving and beautification of footpaths, traffic islands, dividers, bridges and spaces under bridges, beautification and decorative lighting of beaches, gardens, forts, beautification of Gateway of India, digital advertisment boards and urban forestry initiatives are being undertaken under this programme with estimated expenditure of ₹1729 crore.
There has been a drop of almost 30% from last year’s budget for Mumbai’s Fire Brigade, budgeted at ₹227.07 crore.