MUDA braces for new Budget on Feb. 28
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MUDA braces for new Budget on Feb. 28

February 23, 2024

80,000 applicants waiting for sites!

MUDA is a white elephant. It has long served its intended purpose. It has become a milch cow to politicians and the mafia-bureaucracy nexus. Best is to abolish MUDA and allow private players to fill in the vacuum under a special legislation. —K.B. Ganapathy

Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) continues to face criticism for its persistent failure to fulfil its primary obligation to address the needs of the rapidly expanding Mysuru city. The anticipation surrounding the forthcoming annual Budget presentation for 2024-25, scheduled for Feb. 28, underscores the heightened expectations of the populace. Key facets of MUDA’s mandate include the systematic advancement of Mysuru, renowned as the Cultural Capital, through structured urban planning, the development of residential areas in tandem with the city’s population growth and the allocation of plots or housing units to eligible persons.

Originally established in 1904 as the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) by the then Maharaja of Mysore, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, it underwent amalgamation with the Mysuru City Planning Authority in 1987, under the Karnataka Urban Authorities Act. Consequently, it assumed the appellation MUDA on May 16, 1988.

Aligned with Nalwadi’s vision, MUDA operates as the State’s second-largest urban development authority, entrusted with the pivotal role of establishing essential infrastructure such as underground drainage systems, road networks, and other amenities aimed at fostering comprehensive city development.

While these initiatives are invariably outlined in the annual Budget, MUDA frequently falls short in their execution, with only a handful being realised to date.

During the previous Budget meeting chaired by the then MUDA Chairman Yashaswi S. Somashekar on Mar. 13, 2023, MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar presented a surplus Budget of Rs. 4.58 crore. The revenue projection stood at Rs. 5.02 crore, while the estimated expenditure was Rs. 4.97 crore.

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Not sent to Government

As per procedures, after obtaining approval from the MUDA Board, the Budget has to go to the Government for scrutiny and second-level approval. Only after the Government’s approval, MUDA can prepare an action plan to implement the proposed projects. But surprisingly, the Budget was not sent to the Government for approval.

Among the proposals, there was an announcement to develop a residential layout at Bommenahalli in collaboration with farmers, based on a 50:50 ratio of land sharing. However, this plan remains stagnant as MUDA has yet to initiate the land acquisition process, leaving the project  solely on paper.

Apart from the sites allocated to beneficiaries at Rabindranath Tagore (R.T.) Nagar, over 80,000 applicants from the last three decades are still awaiting their allocations.

Funds were allocated to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for constructing Road Under Bridges (RUBs) on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) to connect Vijayanagar Second Stage to Vijayanagar Fourth Stage, and another RUB to connect JP Nagar Third Stage to ‘B’ Zone and other layouts via Akka Mahadevi Road. However, there has been no progress on these fronts.

Although Rs. 100 crore was designated to construct a multi-utility commercial complex at MUDA layouts and other residential areas under its jurisdiction, aimed at bolstering revenue, no development has transpired in the past year.

Similarly, the proposal to establish Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) for processing sewage water and utilising it for various purposes, with a Budget of Rs. 100 crore, remains unimplemented. Additionally, Rs. 5 crore was earmarked for  park development.

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Despite road and underground drainage (UGD) projects proceeding as per the Budget, none of MUDA’s other outlined plans and proposals have materialised. As another Budget for the year 2024-25 approaches, there is hope that the proposals outlined in the Budget book will not remain mere formalities, but rather manifest into reality, thereby fulfilling the aspirations of the multitude who continue to prioritise MUDA for their housing needs.

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