Contestants say they will ensure transparent administration

Inclusion of civil society organisations, audit of civic body works, formation of an advisory council to guide the Corporation Council, speeding up of JNNURM works along with open, transparent administration were the promises the candidates contesting the election to the post of mayor made at an interactive session held in the city on Friday.

Candidates from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Pattali Makkal Katchi and Lok Satta also promised better roads, street light facilities, simplification of procedures for getting birth, death certificates, etc. at the ‘Sezhumaiyana Kovai, Semmayana Mayor' programme the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Coimbatore Press Club conducted.

M. Krishnan, the Chamber president, presented a list of demands. R.R. Balasundaram, the Chamber vice president, made a presentation.

The list of demands are early completion of Pilloor Phase II scheme and everyday supply of drinking water, expedition of underground drainage scheme, review of storm water drainage scheme and construction of rainwater harvesting structures, strict enforcement of door-to-door segregation of waste, improvement of eight lakes that dot the city landscape, new scheme, link roads, subways, a mass transportation system to easy traffic congestion, animal birth control programme to control stray dog population, shifting of bus stand, an auditorium and regulation of street vendors.

R. Arjunaraj, the MDMK candidate, said that, if elected, he would initiate efforts to complete JNNURM projects at the earliest, remove the toll plaza at Athupalam, solve the ash problem from the crematorium in Ward 61 and improve civic conditions in Ilango Nagar.

He also promised to take steps to get the Corporation's works audited. “Doing so, would help the civic body access loans from World Bank and the Asian Development Bank,” he reasoned.

His other promises include councillors' offices in all the 100 wards, facilities to pay taxes, user charges, etc. through online payment system and a thorough debate on all the resolutions tabled in the Council. “I want to do away with the ‘all pass' trend of passing all subjects without proper debate.”

N. Karthik, the DMK candidate, said easy accessibility would be his mantra. “The post of mayor is not a decoration. It is to serve the people and I shall ensure that it is so.” He promised to “take the Corporation to the people” by organising weekly, zonal meeting to redress people's grievances. The representations the people would submit in the morning would be attended to by the very evening, he said and added that he would also undertake daily ward visits. His other assurance was to lay new scheme roads.

U.K. Sivagnanam, the CPM candidate, promised to take steps to establish a urban development agency like the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency, provide basic services to areas that had been included in the Corporation, employ more conservancy workers to improve the city's hygiene standards and provide housing for those on poromboke lands.

He also vowed to initiate action against those responsible for wrongdoings, if any, in the Corporation in the past five years.

R. Chinnaiyan, the Congress candidate, said he would work to get the remaining JNNURM contribution – around Rs. 2,000 crore, from the Union Government.

G.K.S. Selvakumar, the BJP candidate, said he would work to fulfil all the Chamber's demands as it was more or less in line with what the party had been proposing to do.

Rajendran, the PMK candidate, said that he would attempt to regulate the location of TASMAC-run liquor outlets in the city.

S.M. Velusamy, the AIADMK candidate, said his focus would be on improving water supply situation, road condition, expediting JNNURM projects and bringing in new scheme roads.

The city had nearly 140 scheme roads, which if built in the next five years would ease the city's traffic congestion to a great extent.

Vijayanand of Lok Satta said transparency in public administration would be the focus of his term if he were to be elected.