Mumbai, Feb 21: Voting in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the richest Municipal Corporation in Asia has been underway. A total of 2275 candidates of 13 political parties are contesting in 227 wards of the city. Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Congress, Samajwadi Party and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are the key parties contesting Mumbai civic elections. Following are few key points to remember about BMC:

Highest Annual Budget

The annual budget allocated to BMC is Rs 37,052 crores. Along with this amount, a fixed deposit of Rs 51,000 crores has been granted for the city’s welfare but the amount is not being used properly. Comparing BMC with other Municipal corporation, we get the fact that

  • BMC budget is equivalent to the budget of 10 Municipal Corporations of India which includes Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Nagpur, Nashik and Patna.
  • Out of 37,052 Crores, Rs 5,570 crores is spent towards water supply and sewage disposal.
  • Rs 5,184 crores is spent towards roads, traffic and bridges.
  • Rs 3,694 crores is allocated towards health budget.
  • Rs 2,825 crores is allocated for solid waste management.
  • Rs 1,969 crores have been allocated towards education.
  • One of the biggest mystery to surface in Mumbai’s budget is that Rs 11,952 crores have been spent as “others”.

Spending of Budget

  • Out of the total budget, Rs 3,863 crores is provisioned for road repairs and constructions in the city. This is equivalent to the total budget of Indore Municipal Corporation.
  • Rs 5,570 crores of the total budget has been allocated for water supply and sewerage management. This is equivalent to the budget of Hyderabad Municipality. There has been an increase of 34 percent in the water supply management compared to 2013-14 budget.
  • Over the past ten years with a total allotment of Rs 2.19 lakh crores, only 18.3 percent of the budget has been spent on the creation or maintenance of infrastructure.

BMC Municipal Employees

  • BMC uses 50 percent or more of its budget for salaries and pensions of 1.1 lakh employees.
  • For every 1 Lakh people in Mumbai, BMC has 895 Municipal employees.
  • An RTI has revealed that a total of 2,067 BMC employees are facing interdepartmental probes.
  • Out of the 2,067 BMC employees, 104 are Class A employees which include two deputy municipal commissioners, three chief fire officers, 44 executive engineers and 19 doctors.

Low voter turnover

Despite having Municipal Corporation budget higher than few small states, there has always been a low voter turnout in the BMC elections. Unfortunately, in the past two elections, the voting percentage in India’s richest Municipal Corporation has been below 50 percent.

  • In 2007 Municipal election, only 42 percent voters exercised their right to vote.
  • In 2012 Municipal elections, the voter turnout in the city was marginally higher at 44 percent.

Community lines in the city

There are 91.8 lakh voters registered for the 227 wards of the Municipal Corporation. The demographics of the voters reveal that

  • There are 50 lakh male voters and 41 lakh female voters.
  • On an average, there are 42,000 voters present in every ward.
  • Community wise, out of the 227 wards of the city, 112 wards have Marathi and Dalit voters whereas the remaining 115 wards have North Indian, Muslim and Gujarati voters.
  • Marathi voters form 30 percent of the electoral size.
  • North Indians make 32 percent electoral size in the city.
  • Dalits form 10 percent of the total voters.
  • Gujarati voters make 12 percent in the city.
  • Muslim voters have 10 percent presence in the city.
  • South Indians, Christians, Punjabis and Bengalis make 4 percent of the total electorate size.
  • Out of the total 91.8 lakh voters, two third voters live in slums, a majority of them are North Indians.

BMC election results will be declared on February 23.