BMC cuts fund from its departments to save BEST

Of the ₹100 crore budget allocated this year by BMC to repair pavements, ₹50 crore has been transferred as a loan to the BEST

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to provide a loan worth ₹1,200 crore to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and in order to do so, the civic body will cut the funds dedicated for footpaths, roads and gardens. 

Of the ₹100 crore budget allocated this year by the BMC to repair pavements, ₹50 crore has been transferred as a loan to the BEST. The civic body mentioned that the funds for repairing roads and bridges have also been cut.

In a statement, the BMC standing committee was informed that ₹80 crore has been taken from the grants allocated to repair roads. Almost every year, the civic body spends nearly ₹1,500 crore in order to construct new and repair old roads. Earlier, in order to provide comfort to the pedestrians, the BMC had decided to improve pavements by replacing paver blocks with concrete for more durability. However, with half of its allocated fund gone to BEST, this work might get affected.   

With several bridge-related incidents in Mumbai, the BMC is under severe criticism for its failure to maintain ramshackle bridges. The civic body is expected to demolish and reconstruct 10 major bridges which will cost nearly ₹125 crore. 

However, in order to bail out BEST, the BMC has decided to cut ₹30 crore from the bridges department while ₹45 crore will be dropped from the solid waste management department.

Moreover, ₹10 crore has been taken away from the gardens department amid its plan to install 100 urban forests in Mumbai. From the development plan department, the BMC has decided to take ₹230 crore which was supposed to be utilised for acquiring land to create open spaces. 

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The BMC will also transfer ₹15 crore and ₹5 crore from its IT department and Deonar upgradation funds, respectively. 

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