BHUBANESWAR: Amid talks of urban elections, the State government on Thursday asked all civic bodies to spend 25 per cent (pc) of their budget on development of slums in their jurisdiction. Around Rs 724 crore of the total budget has been earmarked for the purpose in 2020-21 and 2021-22 by the Housing and Urban Development department.
Director of Municipal Administration Sangramjit Nayak in a letter to municipal commissioners and executive officers of municipalities and NACs said as per the gazette notification of the State government issued in August 2020 after necessary amendments to Odisha Municipal Act-1950 and Odisha Municipal Corporation Act-2003, not less than 25 pc of the budget under capital expenditure will be spent for providing basic services and infrastructure to slums in urban local bodies (ULBs). The spending should be strictly monitored on regular basis and quarterly target should be fixed, he added.
According to the department, around Rs 2,895 crore had been set aside for the ULBs under different heads of budget for 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal of which Rs 723.75 crore go for slum development. Around `97.11 crore will be spent by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) under this head in the State Capital, where the total number of authorised and unauthorised slums is 430. The total budget allocated to BMC under capital expenditure is around `388 crore.
Around `70 crore will be spent in Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) jurisdiction, while `39 crore will be utilised in Berhampur. Similarly, `41 crore will be spent in Sambalpur and `38 crore in Rourkela.
Sources said the move may prove significant in wooing the economically weaker section and urban poor ahead of the urban polls that has already been delayed by more than two years. The polls are likely to be delayed further as Odisha government is yet to amend the existing laws to determine the ward delimitation and reservation of seats, it added.