MCC Budget: Downsized, but focus on parks, traffic management

The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) budget for 2018-19 envisages a surplus of ₹7.07 crore, with a projected revenue of ₹712.54 crore and expenditure of ₹705.47 crore.

The budget, presented on Tuesday by K.P. Ashwini, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance and Taxation, has been considerably downsized compared to the previous year when the outlay was ₹869.53 crore as revenue and ₹864.83 crore as expenditure.

But the bulk of the projected revenue last year was not based on a realistic assessment and reflection of the ground reality. Thus, apportioning of funds was affected.

For 2018-19, the property tax collection has been pegged at ₹127.02 crore, as opposed to the target of ₹175.12 crore in 2017-18. The MCC managed to collect only ₹90.67 crore till the end of December 2017. The authorities expect to close the financial year collecting ₹115.02 crore.

The bulk of revenue will be from the State Finance Commission, and most of it will be channelised to pay staff salary. It was pegged at ₹65.14 crore for 2017-18, and for 2018-19 the MCC expects a grant of ₹67.64 crore.

The civic body also anticipates a grant of ₹42.1 crore from the 14th Finance Commission, as against ₹37.63 crore expected till the end of 2017-18. Furthermore, ₹55 crore is expected from the State government towards payment of power charges.

Under phase 2 of the Chief Minister’s Nagarothana project, the MCC expects ₹50 crore for comprehensive improvements in the city, besides ₹5 crore for maintenance of heritage structures.

Proposed works

There are nearly 400 parks and lawns under the MCC. Of these, 100 parks will be developed using ₹20.1 crore. The remaining 300 parks will be taken up for development under social forestry projects of the Forest Department. The proposal to develop 100 parks was a fallout of the suggestions given by the public at the pre-budget meeting, Ms. Ashwini said.

A skywalk has been proposed near Maharani’s College. The college is located on JLB Road and the traffic density is very high there. The city corporation intends to take up construction of the skywalk bearing in mind student safety. Funding for this project will be met using the grants to be released by the 14th Finance Commission.

The MCC also proposes to release ₹100 crore — from the Chief Minister’s special grant — for an effective traffic management system in the city. This will be implemented by the traffic police.

Modernising UGD

The budget envisages revamping and modernising the existing drainage system in the heart of the city.

The system was laid during the time of the Maharajas. Though it has stood the test of time, the UGD system is now unable to cope with the load with the increase in population density. The MCC has allocated ₹39 crore for modernising the system and manholes by laying new double-walled corrugated HDPI pipes.

Pink autos

The city will soon sport pink autorickshaws which will be operated exclusively by women drivers. The MCC budget envisages funding pink autos under a self-employment scheme to empower women and help shore up their earning capacity.

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