More than 60% of GHMC budget unspent

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The city corporation has spent only 36% of its budget of Rs 5,600 crore for the year, and has not taken up a number of key projects for road improvement, rejuvenation of lakes and the strengthening of infrastructure.
With just three months to go for the end of the financial year, it seems likely that the government’s plans to turn Hyderabad into a ‘Global City’ will remain only on paper.

Sources said the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has spent only Rs 2,038 crore of its total budget of Rs 5,600 crore till January 1, 2017.

Less than 20% of the funds allocated for major infrastructure projects have been used. While Rs 3,630 crore was earmarked for capital expenditure -used for construction of bridges, road and large projects -civic authorities have spent only Rs 512 crore.

For instance, under Smart Hyderabad initiative, the corporation proposed e-citizen services, free wi-fi, a smart house number project, and a safe city project at a cost of Rs 46.15 crore.But the corporation has not spent any funds on these proposals. Under the Green Hyderabad project, Telanangaku Haritha Haram and Lakes Rejuvenation, Protection and Beautification were proposed. Of the Rs 235 crore allotted, the civic body has spent just `20 crore.Another big initiative, the Musi Rejuvenation project, was allocated Rs 21 crore but work is yet to begin.

The corporation engineering wing proposed road works at a cost of Rs 860 crore. Only Rs 170 crore has been spent. In comparison, last year the civic body spent Rs 424 crore during the same period. The case is similar with storm water drains improvement -of the proposed Rs 257 crore, only Rs 39 crore was released.

“The state government pushed GHMC into a debt trap with additional burdens such as providing financial assistance of ` 337 crore to Telangana State Road Transport Corporation.The government has not released grants like entertainment tax and property tax for government properties,“ said M Srinivas, secretary of CPM city unit. Srinivas, who procured the details through an RTI application, said the government promised Rs 378 crore to the corporation in 2015-16, but released Rs 11 crore. In 2016-17, the state government earmarked Rs 70 crore, but has not released any funds.

GHMC commissioner B Janardhan Reddy admitted that the expenditure on major works was low as many projects required interdepartmental support like shifting of sewer and power lines. He said road work usually begins in November and December and is completed before the end of the financial year. On financial support from the Centre, he said GHMC is expecting about Rs 95 crore under the 14th finance commission.

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