NDMC involves public in budget spend for next year

Have a stinking toilet in the neighbourhood or hassled over parking? For those living in Lutyens’ Zone there is a unique solution. They can now go to the ‘Budget suggestions’ link on the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) website to post their problems, which may not only be tackled, but may also be ensured of never recurring.

The initiative is thanks to a unique measure by the NDMC where it is actually seeking suggestions from the public on how its funds for the annual 2017/18 budget should be best spent.

NDMC officials said that this new link was launched on its official website on Wednesday evening. The link can also be accessed on the civic body’s mobile application, NDMC 311, as well, said officials.

On this link, the public can access 18 categories, and comment on civic issues which include stray animals, Wi-Fi, fogging, encroachments, roads, streetlights, parks and playgrounds, drains, urinals, pruning of trees among others.

“The idea is to involve people in the administration of their area. The feedback will also help us gather a real perspective of the projects already underway and those requiring changes,” a senior NDMC official said.

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Already some members of the public have taken up the NDMC initiative and have started posting their solutions. “It is suggested that steps should be taken to remove stray dogs and monkeys from the said colony as presence of stray dogs on the road not only create havoc to passersby in the colony they also make the area dirty by night soil,” read one of the posts by a Laxmi Bai Nagar resident.

Another post read: “Please fix footpaths near Palika Kendra.” De-clogging of busy marketplaces such as Khan Market and Connaught Place also saw a high number of public posts.

“These areas get too clogged even during the non peak hours, in particular, on weekends. The civic body had earlier proposed a ‘Smart Parking’ scheme, which still could not be seen on ground,” lamented another resident. Incidentally, the names of all these posts are kept confidential.

Reacting to these posts, NDMC officials assure that all the suggestions will be kept in mind when the budget is framed. “The budget will be prepared in line with the suggestions/changes requested by the people in general. Within a day we have received a number of posts including on fixing footpaths etc.” the official added.

Shivraj Singh, a former naval officer, who lives in Khan Market area, welcomed the NDMC’s initiative but said he hoped it would translate into strict action. “Though the feedback idea sounds good, I hope they take the complaints seriously. In the winters, overgrown tree branches covering the streetlights here pose a major problem.”

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