Coimbatore Corporation had, in the last 10 months, fared extremely well in speeding up works. This was in sharp comparison to the works done during the last five years of the previous regime. And these works resulted in it bagging the prestigious award for the Best Corporation, said Mayor S.M. Velusamy.
The award is instituted only this year and carries a citation and cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh.
Mr. Velusamy was talking to reporters explaining the criterions under which the Corporation was chosen for the award.
Mr.Velusamy, and Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy, said the civic body performed well in 16 categories which include provision of drinking water, laying of drainage, roads, providing streetlights, taking up energy efficiency measures, maintenance of public conveniences, initiating solid waste management systems, setting up information centres, enforcing computerisation, taking care of public health, providing for education to children, setting up parks and for sound financial management of the Corporation. Deputy Mayor Leelavathi Unni and Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu were present at the briefing.
Mr.Velusamy alleged that JNNURM schemes mooted during the previous AIADMK regime had run into rough weather during the DMK regime which slowed down the pace of implementation.
To eradicate the menace of mosquitoes, the city required a pucca Underground Drainage Scheme and during the period 2007 to 2011, works were completed only in respect of 63 km out of the 573 km. But in the last 10 months, the AIADMK-led council had completed another 220 km works. With regard to 731 km length of storm water drains, the previous regime had completed only 102 km whereas the AIADMK-led council completed 385 km.
With regard to Pilloor II scheme, Mr.Velusamy said the council was left with works to be carried out for a year when it assumed office. Now, efforts were on to put the scheme into operation by September this year. Meanwhile, the civic body managed to source 30 mld of water every day using the second scheme to tide over the water scarcity in the North and East zones of the Corporation because of poor supply of Siruvani water. Water supply now has been scheduled for once in four days as against the 20- day cycle that prevailed earlier.
With regard to restoration of roads after the UGD work, the previous regime completed only 17 km at an outlay of Rs. 4.62 crore, while the present regime had completed restoration roads to an extent of 261 km at Rs. 85.31 crore. The Corporation went the extra mile to install generators to streamline supply of water from the Aliyar scheme for Kurichi and Kuniamuthur areas and Vadavalli and Kavundampalayam under the Bhavani scheme. This had resulted in these areas getting water once in four or five days as against the earlier 15 to 18 days.
Under the housing scheme for the poor, the Corporation had handed over Rs. 1.65 lakh each to 6,000 beneficiaries. Tax realisation was at 88 per cent, the highest in the State.
Land acquisition was under process for the Ondipudur Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and a clearance was awaited from the Pollution Control Board for the Nanjundapuram Road STP. With regard to the third package in the UGD scheme for 220 km at Rs. 179 crore, Mr.Ponnusamy said the previous contractor was blacklisted owing to contractual failure and two bids had been received now.
Towards energy efficiency and better lighting, the civic body was embarking on 100 per cent LED lights in 40 wards (i.e., added areas of the Corporation).
As many as 21,000 lights would be replaced over the next five years. Replacing of lights in the core city would commence in the subsequent phase. A separate scheme was under formulation for solid waste management in respect of the 200 tonnes of garbage generated by the added areas of the Corporation.
As it was done in Kavundampalayam, land filling method at Vellalore solid waste management compost yard was nearing completion over 8.8 lakh cubic metre area at a cost of Rs. 12.5 crore and this had made Coimbatore a pioneer making local bodies in the country, Mr.Ponnusamy claimed.
All these achievements in a short span of time and especially in sharp comparison with the pace of works in the last five years had made Coimbatore Corporation eligible for the award, Mr.Velusamy said.