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Plan to upgrade dhobi ghats, geo-tag all properties: NDMC chairman in budget speech

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Dec 27 (PTI) Hosting a tulip festival, redeveloping the sewerage system and geo-tagging all properties are among the NDMC's focus areas in the 2024-25 financial year, Chairman Amit Yadav said in his budget speech on Wednesday.

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Among his other announcements were modernising the dhobi ghats, acquiring electric bikes and scooters for field staff, providing uninterrupted water supply and giving health cards to students of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) schools.

He also proposed to make available untied funds of Rs 10 crore for residents' welfare associations and market trade associations in the NDMC area for 2024-25 with an objective to provide scope for local initiatives and flexibility for local action by them.

"The total receipts of the Budget Estimate for 2024-25 are Rs 5,069.63 crore against Rs 4,888.93 crore provided in the Revised Estimate for 2023-24. The actual receipts in 2022-23 was Rs 4,302.79 crore. This is the first time that the budget of the NDMC has gone over Rs 5,000 crore," Yadav said.

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He further said, "In our budget for 2024-25, total expenditure is more than our Revised Estimate figures for the current year and the receipts are higher than that of the Revised Estimate, leaving us with a surplus -- a trend maintained by the NDMC for the last number of years." The NDMC has focussed on systemic structural interventions for better governance this financial year, Yadav said.

It has procured two lakh tulip bulbs for the winter to enhance the city's aesthetics and to add colour to the landscape, he said, adding that the civic body plans to make the tulip festival an annual event.

He proposed that the NDMC spend Rs 121.68 crore on horticulture, of which Rs 8.62 crore will be for capital expenditure.

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Noting that the city's infrastructure needs upgrades, Yadav said the NDMC has requested the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to sanction projects worth Rs 556 crore for the sewerage system's redevelopment under the Urban Development Fund scheme.

"This will enable the NDMC to augment the sewerage system in a phased manner within five years," he said.

The NDMC is also working on an amendment to the NDMC Act, 1994, to align with current global best practices, the chairman said.

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"As part of our tax reform process, we will implement geo-tagging of all properties starting from the next financial year. Geo-tagging will mandate uploading the photos of taxpayers' properties through a mobile app or the NDMC website for easy identification and tracking," he said.

Yadav also announced that the Charak Palika Hospital will soon get an intensive care unit (ICU) and a blood storage unit.

"The work regarding procurement of equipment for the ICU is in the advanced stages and likely to be completed by March," he said.

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Yadav said the NDMC has created an 'Innovation Fund' and a committee will be set up to lay down the modalities for projects.

He said the first of such projects -- bioremediation-based innovative hybrid technology -- is being used to clean a two-kilometre section of the partial open portion of the Kushak nullah.

"It is proposed that this fund will be used for a long-term solution that ensures untreated water does not flow into the nullah or the Yamuna," he added.

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Yadav also announced that a comprehensive project to upgrade the dhobi ghats will be launched.

"The dhobi ghats serve a major need of the urban society. However, limited infrastructure is available that causes difficulty for users. A comprehensive project for upgradation of the dhobi ghats will be undertaken in the next financial year," he said.

Yadav said the residents need to be assured of round-the-clock water supply and, to guarantee it, a project has been initiated.

To ensure uninterrupted 24x7 water supply in the NDMC area, the process of appointing a consultant with the vision for the next 25 years is at the request-for-proposal (RFP) stage, he said.

The NDMC is also in the process of preparing an estimate for the redevelopment of 14 drainage systems and comprehensive de-silting of the drains will be taken up in 2024-25.

The civic body has proposed to allocate Rs 13.40 crore to improve the drainage system. Of the total, Rs 11.62 crore will go towards capital expenditure and Rs 1.78 crore for revenue expenditure.

The council also plans to acquire electric bikes/scooters for short-distance mobility of field staff during this fiscal, he said.

Officials said this will improve response times and also encourage sustainability.

For the Roads Department, the NDMC has proposed to allocate Rs 144.60 crore -- Rs 32.88 crore as capital expenditure and Rs 111.72 crore as revenue expenditure.

For education, it has proposed to spend Rs 285.21 crore -- Rs 16.57 crore as capital expenditure and Rs 268.64 crore as revenue expenditure. PTI SLB SZM

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