NMDC Budget Focuses on ‘Smart City’ Objective, Plans Free-Wi-Fi, LED Streetlights
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) today presented a budget for 2015-16 geared towards pushing the ‘Smart City’ objective as it focuses on solar energy, installation of LED streetlights, automated parking facility and free Wi-fi, among others.
Total receipts of Rs 3,153.22 crore have been projected against a total estimated expenditure of Rs 3,126.02 crore during the period in the budget which was presented before the Council by NDMC Chairman Jalaj Srivastava.
“Basic premise of a smart city is making infrastructure network and delivery of services for the common man speedier and more effective and efficient. A smart city cannot have only a few hours of water supply a day, or power outages, or its streets and public places littered with garbage,” he said in his budget speech.
Thus, among the major initiatives announced in the budget speech is the replacement of 18,500 streetlight poles with LED lights fitted with CCTV cameras and creation of Wi-fi access points. Also, a chain of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants are to be set up in various NDMC areas and the Solar City project would also be taken up.
The civic body has allocated Rs 150.37 crores for education services, including for the setting up of technology-enabled classrooms in five NDMC schools, a state-of-the-art technical institute for boys for job-oriented skill development on the lines of ITIs and establishment of library-cum-reading rooms in four areas of which two will be for boys and the remaining for girls.
“The Council generates around 94 per cent of its receipts through its own internal resources, which mainly include fee and user charges, licence fees from municipal properties, property tax and electricity tax and interest,” Srivastava said. There was no increase announced in the property tax rates.
Installation of “Outdoor Gyms”, setting up of a world-class football academy and a skill development centre are among the new projects announced by NDMC in its budget.
As part of its ‘Urja project’ aimed at empowering women, it also announced that a ‘Shakti cab’ service would be launched to cater to female passengers.
“As a pilot project, women commercial drivers/pass outs of NDMC’s Women’s Technical Institute (WTI) would be plying these cabs with the provision for security guards in night shifts apart from GPS,” Srivastava said.
The civic body also proposed to start ‘Raahgiri’ events at more locations and in other formats.
“We plan to start Raahgiri, which is celebrated every Sunday from 6 AM to 9 AM, in the evening time too by closing more roads and opening them to the public for such activities,” he said.
In line with AAP’s poll promise, NDMC had last week announced introduction of free Wi-fi in all areas under its jurisdiction along with a 50 per cent tariff reduction for electricity use of up to 400 units and 20-kl of water free to all households.
The details of the subsidy schemes have been worked out too. They will cost us around Rs 22.5 crore, which the Delhi government will reimburse,” Srivastava said.
Along with the budget document, Srivastava also placed before the Council a brochure containing the status of implementation of announcements made in the budget for 2014-2015.
Outlook – NEW DELHI | MAR 25, 2015