DELHI: East Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner's second annual budget speech read almost the same as the last with not much to offer. He proposed an increase in property tax (50 percent increase in base unit area value) and four new taxes.
However, with Delhi witnessing a hung assembly and Lok Sabha elections slated for April, this budget is unlikely to be cleared. Struggling with funds, S Kumaraswamy, the commissioner, said if the corporation must take up new projects, taxes have to be raised to boost revenue. He also talked about status of projects taken up last year.
"It's time to increase the taxes. We are also working on a proposal to bring in properties in unauthorized colonies within tax ambit. Through unique property identification code, more tax payable properties will be identified and the revenue will increase," said Kumaraswamy.
BJP leaders in the corporation announced after the budget speech that no taxes will be hiked. "No charges will increase as the residents are already suffering due to price rise. BJP will not burden them," said BB Tyagi, leader of the House, East Corporation. Even the opposition, Congress, is with the BJP on this issue.
To improve sanitation, the corporation is planning to establish a construction and demolition waste processing plant in Shastri Park with a capacity of processing 500 metric tonnes per day. Trapping of methane at a sanitary landfill site in Gazipur has already been initiated by Gas Authority of India by installing bore wells vertically and horizontally. A teachers training institute at Dilshad Garden is likely to be completed.
Digital display boards will be set up on the corporation buildings like headquarters, zonal offices, big hospitals. For this a provision of Rs 10 lakh has been earmarked.
Working from DSIIDC building in Patparganj Industrial area, the corporation has decided to construct its own headquarters at CBD ground in Shahdara. Land measuring 10 acres is being provided at Rs 32 crore by DDA. Other infrastructure projects include two mini-stadia and one indoor games complex in Mukesh Nagar at Rs 18 crore.
To provide better civic services to the residents, the commissioner has proposed to create municipal office in every zone. "At present there are only two zones providing services to over 20 lakh citizen and handling 64 wards. But it is felt that to reach to the residents more offices will be created," said Kumaraswamy.