Fund crunch may force BBMP to shelve projects

Fund crunch may force BBMP to shelve projects

Fund crunch may force BBMP to shelve projects

The cash-strapped Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP)  is on the verge of shelving most of the projects promised in its 2011-12 budget.

Pushed into a corner with no sight of surplus funds, the BBMP is likely to drop projects—currently in the “tendering” stage—till March 2012.

BBMP sources disclosed that the shelved projects could be considered as spill-over works for the next financial year.

“That is the current thinking prevalent in the BBMP commissioner’s office to ensure that the BBMP eases the burden on its exchequer,” according to the sources.

It is learnt that BBMP Commissioner M K Shankarlinge Gowda has been insisting that no new projects are commissioned till the end of the financial year.

The State government’s decision not to extend financial allocation to the BBMP is one critical reason behind the Palike’s money-saving move. Its budget, which had envisaged huge projects for the City, was too dependent on the State government.

“We have been repeatedly denied funds by the State government and the amount that is garnered by the BBMP is just enough for the maintenance of the City and for our staff salary,” according to the source.

Admitting that the BBMP may not be able to start any new projects, Deputy Mayor S Harish was, however, confident of receiving special grants up to Rs 850 crore from the State government by January 2012.

“By January 2012, we will commence work on projects worth Rs 2,560 crore that has been carried forward from the 2010-11 budget. While we may not be able to begin any new projects, the previously promised projects will begin next month,” said Harish. 

New policy

This apart, hopes are also being pinned on the revenue to be accrued from the new optic fibre cable policy that is estimated to rake in Rs 700 crore for the BBMP.

The Palike’s biggest revenue stream, property tax for the year 2011-12, has touched Rs 1,010 crore and is expected to match the target set at Rs 1,500 crore for the financial year by March 2012.

According to the current estimates,  the BBMP has a revenue of Rs 3,000 crore for the year 2011-12, leaving the civic agency short of Rs 6,000 crore to engage in any new projects that have been listed in the BBMP 2011-12 budget.

With just over three months left for the end of the financial year, the BBMP “dream” to accrue receipts up to Rs 9,112 crore seems distant and far-fetched. And thus, even the projects listed for this year are also in limbo.