In MCD budget, Rs 15 crore for cow shelters, plan to lease school playgrounds

- February 9, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the budget, emphasising its alignment with the city's collective aspirations for cleanliness and beauty

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has greenlit a comprehensive budget proposal amounting to Rs 16,683 crore for the fiscal year 2024-25. This budget includes provisions such as the allocation of Rs 1,500 crore by the Delhi government to cover teachers’ salaries and plans to generate additional revenue by leasing out school playgrounds.

Among the key highlights of the budget are allocations amounting to Rs 15 crore for the maintenance of cow shelters (‘Gaushalas’) and a focus on road upkeep and waste management across the city. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the budget, emphasising its alignment with the city’s collective aspirations for cleanliness and beauty.

Mayor Shelly Oberoi oversaw the passing of the budget estimates amidst disruptions within the House, leading to its adjournment within five minutes of the session’s commencement. The MCD has allotted Rs 1,000 crore for road maintenance over a decade-long contractual period, alongside the implementation of AI technology for road damage identification and mechanized cleaning.

Furthermore, the corporation intends to leverage AI for detecting illegal parking and enhancing real-time parking space availability through a mobile app. A budget allocation of Rs 400 crore has been earmarked for waste management, aiming to address the longstanding issue of garbage accumulation in the city.

In a notable move, Rs 500 crore from unutilised developmental funds have been redirected to the Mayor’s discretionary funds, a decision met with opposition from councillors of opposing parties who contested the transfer.

While the ruling AAP defended the budget’s passage, asserting that there was no alteration in the total income and expenditure proposed by MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti, the opposition BJP has decried the move as “unlawful” and a “blatant attack on democracy.”

Opposition leaders, including Raja Iqbal Singh, have lodged a memorandum with Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, condemning the purported increase in the Mayor’s financial authority without due deliberation. They underscored the need for democratic consultation and vowed to pursue the matter until addressed satisfactorily.

(With PTI inputs)