The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday presented a budget of Rs10,895.84 crore for the fiscal year 2020-21, a 54.16% rise from last year’s Rs7,067.86 crore budget (revised estimate).
L. Srinivas, chairman of the taxation and finance committee presented the budget through video conferencing, the first in the city civic body’s history, which was streamed live to other zonal offices to maintain social distancing and lockdown norms.
The budget followed the usual protocol with allocations of funds to help improve the city’s crumbling infrastructure, waste management and improving the rapidly declining quality of air and water in India’s technology capital.
The B.S. Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government has already announced to introduce a new municipal corporation act specific to Bengaluru.
The corporation has allocated Rs999 crore for solid waste management. Waste management in Bengaluru is a huge issue due to lack of proper recycling and garbage processing facilities.
Another Rs415.50 crore has been reserved for pothole filling and other maintenance works, the budget said. The allocation just to fill potholes indicates the poor quality of roads--or the lack of it--in a city that is home to over 10 million people and nearly eight million vehicles.
Each year, BBMP earmarks hundreds of crores to fix roads but often falls short of fulfilling its promises of making Bengaluru a city of global standard.
Following its pattern, the budget allocates Rs310.33 crores for the city’s drying up, encroaching and cleaning up of toxic lakes.
“To improve the general well being of the citizens, air purifiers will be set up in zones having high population and vehicular density, Rs1 crore is set aside," the budget stated. Known earlier for its good climate and clean surroundings, the quality of the environment has seen a decline over the years due to over exploitation of existing resources and the administration’s inability to decongest the city.
The BBMP has also set aside Rs73.78 crore for urban forestry and environmental management. Bengaluru’s green cover has rapidly eroded over the years as the BBMP has felled trees to widen roads and ease growing traffic congestion in the city. Bengaluru was adjudged to have the world’s worst traffic beating 415 other cities across 57 countries to earn the title in 2019.