The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)’s budget for 2018-19 will be presented on 28th February. The budget will be presented by the Tax and Finance Standing chairman Mahadev M.
Since the budget is being drafted keeping the assembly elections in mind, both the Congress and JD(S) are both looking to claim ownership of the BBMP budget. The budget is said to have inputs from H.D. Kumaraswamy of JD(S) and Congress ministers KJ George and Ramalinga Reddy. But more than which party’s vision the budget contains, it’s more important what the budget is going to do.
The budget this year is expected to cover points such as rainwater harvesting, environment protection and the protection of lakes as well. The budget is going to include a midday meal scheme for senior citizens. The facility of Indira canteens is also slated to be discussed in this year’s budget. The Indira canteens will supply food to all pourakarmikas in the city. Helipads in various zones of the city are going to find a place in the budget, have recently found a lot of public attention and have raised much expectation. The helipads are still in the first phase of construction. The outlay of this year’s budget is 9,200 crores.
Welfare programmes will also be given importance such as pink autos and taxis for women, distributing solar panels to houses of the scheduled castes, tribes and other backward classes as well. Even education programmes, scholarships and healthcare will be discussed. Some of these welfare schemes and plans seem rather utopian, such as helicopters to avoid the city’s traffic to the airport, what will the affordability of these helicopters be? And if the budget is going to be directed towards the middle class, it would seem rather outrageous.
No matter how much money is given to Bengaluru for its development, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s JD(S)’s vision or Congress’. What are the people going to get out of it? More roads? But every year the pavements are being redone, what about garbage piling up all around the city, the increasing pollution? It seems the government in the enthusiasm to please the public ahead of the polls has completely forgotten the essentials. Every year money is given and one finds something else to worry about, water shortages, burning lakes and traffic problems that never seem to end. Is the citizen being too optimistic about tempting promises? Well, Bengaluru better hold its breath for tomorrow.