The Coimbatore Corporation, in its budget presented on Wednesday, announced a scheme involving public participation.

Presenting the budget, Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman A. Nandakumar said the civic body had allocated Rs. 2 crore towards the scheme to build concrete roads, install streetlights, lay pavements, establish parks, etc.

But to avail themselves of the facilities in their localities, the public would have to cough up one-third of the project cost. The Corporation would chip in with the rest.

He presented the budget in the presence of Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Commissioner Anshul Mishra, and Deputy Mayor N. Karthik, chairmen of various committees, officials and councillors at the Council Hall.

The civic body would suffer a deficit of Rs. 20 crore as the total income was estimated to be Rs. 395.50 crore and the expenditure Rs. 415.56 crore.

The Corporation would bridge the deficit by taking up various income augmentation schemes. The Corporation's revenue mobilisation measures would include levying tax on establishments that were hitherto outside the tax net, identification of persons, establishments and Central and State governments' employees who did not pay professional tax and identification of vacant sites for levying vacant land tax.

Mr. Nandakumar also said that shops selling computers, mobile phones, electronic goods and a few others were not on the Corporation's list of establishments requiring trade licence.

Henceforth, such establishments would be included in the list of tax-payers.

As a follow-up to handing over hand-held devices to personnel assessing water usage charges, the Corporation would soon extend the facility to pay taxes online. Using online banking services or debit or credit cards, people could pay professional, water charges and property tax.

On the education front, the Chairman said the civic body would install school management software in its schools from which details of students, their marks, teachers' information, attendance etc would be known.

It had allotted Rs. 50 lakh for the purpose.

The civic body would also set up napkin-vending machines at the remaining six high and higher secondary schools and 14 middle schools. These would come at a cost of Rs. 7.50 lakh. Last year, the civic body covered 20 schools.

At the Corporation Middle School in Tatabad, the Corporation would spend Rs. 35 lakh to set up a science park.

It was an investment to help the students develop a scientific temper.

The park would be open to all students.For the city's residents to use better roads, the Corporation would spend Rs. 13.50 crore on roads where the underground drainage work was taken up.

Of the sum, Rs. 3.50 crore would be spent for concrete roads and the rest for black-topped ones.

Mr. Nandakumar also announced schemes to improve infrastructure at the bus stand at Gandhipuram, erect new boards of names of streets at Rs. 1 crore, and increase green cover in the city and establish playgrounds at Corporation schools at Rs. 50 lakh.

More In: Coimbatore