Development on its mind, the UT administration has defended its decision of increasing the Budget allocation for the year 2023-24, before the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs.
An amount of ₹5,436.10 crore has been allocated in Budget Estimates of 2023-24 for Chandigarh as against ₹4,846.79 crore in Budget Estimates of 2022-23.
The committee had raised a query in its report on Demands for Grants (2023-24) tabled in the Lok Sabha recently. The UT administration replied that the increase in the budget will facilitate improvement of infrastructure in education, police, health, urban development, public transport, development works of municipal corporations and Smart City projects.
Construction of buildings and structures, creation of infrastructural assets, purchase of furniture and fixtures, other fixed assets and acquisition of land, and implementation of 24×7 water supply project are also on its agenda, stated the administration while adding that the budget enhancement will help in increase of committed liabilities such as salaries, wages, grants-in-aid (salaries), fuels and lubricants.
In response to another query by the committee, the Chandigarh administration informed that the UT has incurred ₹15.86 crore under the sub-head ‘road and transport’ up to December 31, 2022, against the total allocation of ₹34.79 crore in Revised Estimates of 2022-23.
The UT administration has already submitted a list of 16 development works to be carried out in financial year 2023-24 to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The major projects include construction of two vertical green corridors, two police stations and five new government schools this year.
In the Budget Estimates for 2023-24, the Centre has allocated ₹722 crore for development works, which is nearly 33% more than last year.
In view of the rising strength of students, the administration has decided to construct five government schools at Sarangpur, Hallo Majra, Maloya, Karsan and Mani Majra at a cost of around ₹45 crore.
To promote cycling and walking, the administration will construct two vertical green corridors in the coming financial year. There is a provision of 11 longitudinal green corridors for non-motorised transport (NMT) in the Chandigarh Master Plan-2031. The master plan strives for promoting use of bicycle as a preferred mode of transport. The use of bicycle is a healthier mode of transport for shorter distances and reduces carbon emissions by shunning use of car.