Municipal services get Rs45b

Dilapidated sewerage system of urban areas given lower allocation


Afzal Talib June 16, 2021

LAHORE:

About Rs45 billion has been allocated for the local government department and water and sanitation agencies (WASAs) in the Punjab budget for in the financial year 2021-22.

However, the budget proposals include less allocation to lay sewage lines in urban areas despite widespread complaints in this regard.

Under the budget presented on Monday, the local government department will get Rs26.63 billion during the coming year.

The WASAs across Punjab will receive Rs18.744 billion, which will be spent on the water supply and sewerage maintenance.

Read more: WSSP launches 14-day sanitation campaign

More than Rs11.83 billion will be spent on ongoing development work under the department of local government and community development, while Rs14.8 billion has been allocated for new projects. The ongoing schemes include parks, sports grounds, garbage collection and disposal, livestock and local government programme.

According to the budget documents, buildings will be constructed at a cost of Rs20 million. Foreign aid of Rs4.08 billion is expected. About Rs118 million has been set aside for improvement of sewerage system in villages. However, only Rs6 million has been earmarked for the supply of clean water in the villages.

The government has proposed allocation of Rs435 million for the Local Development Programme.

Under the budget, Rs154.8 million has been allocated for the Walled City Authority, Rs220 million for construction and repair of cemeteries and Rs10 million for parks and sports grounds.

An amount of Rs8.31 billion has been allocated for District Development Package and Rs320 million for road construction and repair.

Of the proposed allocation for water and sanitation, Rs6.36 billion will be spent on ongoing development work. During the year, Rs2.33 billion will be spent on sewerage and drainage system in villages. Similarly, Rs360 million will be spent on clean water supply schemes in villages, Rs168.2 million for the improvement of sewerage system in urban areas and Rs617 million on providing clean water in urban areas.

In the sector, Rs906 million will be spent under the Local Development Programme on ongoing schemes.

Around Rs12.4 billion will be spent on new development schemes in the coming year. They include 10 major schemes that will cost Rs1.4 billion, 105 of sewerage in villages at a cost of Rs1.24 billion, 24 of supplying clean water in villages at a cost of Rs215.1 million.

The sewerage system in urban areas is mostly dilapidated but only Rs19 million has been set aside for it, in addition to Rs50 million for solving the problem of clean water.

An allocation of Rs9.84 billion has been proposed for the District Development Package in the sector.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Punjab Local Government Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal said that the provincial government had allocated a huge amount of money in the budget for development projects tehsils, towns and cities across the province.

“We will try to start the development work immediately along with the ongoing development schemes and to complete all the work within the stipulated time. This will benefit the residents of rural and urban areas across Punjab,” the provincial secretary added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16h, 2021.

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