Blantyre City residents have stressed the need for quality service delivery and admirable standards of infrastructure in the city to be in line with demands of the 21st Century.
The call was made on Wednesday during a Public Participatory Budget Conference which gave residents an opportunity to contribute towards the Blantyre City Council’s (BCC) formulation of a development budget for the 2016/17 financial year.
During the conference, BCC presented to the residents its K3.8 billion (about $5.6million) budget for 2016/17, out of which about K1.9 billion (about $2.8million) will go towards the city’s development projects with the remainder catering for other recurrent transactions (ORT).
While commending the council for embarking on assorted development projects to transform the city, the residents observed that implementation of plans is generally an issue of concern.
But deputy mayor Wild Ndipo said since the council embarked on engaging the public in developing the development budget, there has been progress in the execution of the projects.
He said: “Public contribution is very valuable which is why the Blantyre you see today, the architects are its residents. We are more than determined to achieve greater things together.”
Ndipo urged residents to ensure that public facilities are protected by avoiding vandalism and reporting vandals to relevant authorities for appropriate action.
Presenting the budget, the council’s finance committee chairperson, George Chipwete, said the total cost for infrastructure development fund (IDF) projects has been estimated at K1.89 million.
Among others, the funds will be used to upgrade roads to asphalt surfacing, street lighting and construction of bridges.
Residents proposed about 24 projects through their councillors that will cost about K202 million (about $300 000). n