The budget of any city tends to reflect the trend of its development, and ideally priority sectors should get more allocations than the others.
The budget document of PMC is very difficult to understand, being organized by different departments instead of being in terms of sectors such as traffic and transportation, sewerage and water etc. For example, traffic and transportation items are found scattered in departments such as traffic department, roads department, ward works, special projects and public transport projects and JNNURM. The budget has been re-analysed by Parisar to find sectoral allocations.
Further the transport sector has been analysed in more detail with items classified into Motor vehicle friendly items (MV), non-motorised transport items (NMT), public transport items (PT) and some items as ‘others’. At the same time, we have also classified all transport expenses ward-wise.
Pune’s budget has increased by about 10% over the last year, increasing from Rs. 3247 crores to Rs. 3,633 crores. Among the sectors, the transportation sector with Rs. 986 crores has consistently had the highest allocation with more than one fourth of the budget (27%), which is larger than the budgetary allocations made for education, health, sanitation and slum rehabilitation sectors put together. The water and sewage sector consistently got the second highest allocation.
In the transportation budget, the majority allocation is found to be for the motor-vehicle friendly measures and projects, following the same trend as the previous years.
The country has formulated a National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) and the city has approved a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP). According to this, NMT share in total trips should be 50%, and total trips by public transport should be 80% of all motorized trips. (PMC's Comprehensive Mobility Plan)
However the allocation of funds suggests otherwise. More than half of the budget allocation is towards motor vehicle friendly measures with 59% allocation, whereas non-motorized transport gets a meager 8% of it. Public transport gets 16%, but clearly, from what is seen on roads, it is insufficient for the better performance of PMPML. Furthermore we find that even in the allocations under Public Transport and NMT, there are expensive projects like building of subways and foot over bridges which are really not providing significant relief to pedestrians, as pedestrians usually prefer safe at-grade crossings. Much of the PT allocations, similarly are for BRT, but so far Pune has neither seen any improvement in the pilot BRT or launch of any new BRT routes.
This year, Parisar also attempted a ward-wise analysis of the traffic and transportation sector. It was equally difficult to categorise budget items as per wards since many times the ward number is not mentioned. A bulk of the budget is also spillover from last year, and old ward numbers (144) have been given, which is difficult to assign to new wards (76).
We find that allocations to wards vary tremendously; with the highest allocation being 16 crores to ward number 9 and the lowest being 35 lakhs to ward number 56. (To read details of allocation click here). There is no rationale for why some wards get massive allocations compared to others. Ward allocations should ideally be based on the area of the ward and the extent of the existing transportation infrastructure.
We believe that such a ward-wise analysis of other sectors should also be done and will help citizens as well as corporators to understand how much money has been allocated for their wards and what infrastructure improvements they can expect.
PMC Budget focuses on vehicles than health, education (Times of India, 2nd July 2012)
PMC spends more on roads that buses (Sakaal Times, 6th July 2012)