At a time when former Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya has been demanding elections to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) and criticising the present set-up, the chairman of the Board of Administrators for the SMC, Gautam Deb, today tabled its general budget for the financial year 2021-2022.
As he presented the receipts and expenditure for 2020-2021 and a general budget estimate for 2021-2022, Mr Deb said the former elected body, as well as the mayor, had failed to fulfill the expectations of the Siliguri people. Addressing the Press, he said that the estimated budget for 2021-22 was Rs 158 crore.
Terming today’s budget as a “realistic one,” Mr Deb said Rs 43 crore was spent for development in the SMC area in 2020-2021. SMC received Rs 22 crore from the state government out of the Rs 43 crore, in which Rs 6 crore was a deficit.
Mr Deb also stressed on the need to make arrangements for alternative roads in Siliguri, considering its strategic location that connects to other countries, and the inflow of tourists. Mr Deb, the former state tourism minister, further stressed on the urgent need to develop the tourism industry. He also stressed on readying an alternative source of drinking water supply after purification as required for the SMC areas, following the increase in the population here.
Mr Deb further said that he would go to Kolkata in the first week of October to meet officials of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department where he would discuss the detailed project report on the alternative source of drinking water supply project for the SMC.
“We have plans to bring in development in the SMC areas and discuss the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after Durga Puja,” Mr Deb said.