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Updated: September 14, 2011 10:14 IST

Councillors spar over fund allocation

Karthik Madhavan
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Councillors sought fair distribution of funds to repair damaged roads saying roads in all wards were damaged.
Councillors sought fair distribution of funds to repair damaged roads saying roads in all wards were damaged.

Monday's Corporation Council meeting, which was the last for this Council, saw angry exchanges among the elected representatives.

But there was one involving officials and Councillors. In the discussions related to allocation of funds for repairing roads that were damaged while undertaking the underground drainage works, the Councillors accused the officials of uneven distribution of funds.

The discussions came up when the Council took up Subject 40, which said that the necessity had risen to repair roads where the UGD works had been completed. There was also a need to relay badly damaged roads.

To take up the repair works, the Corporation, as per the guidance of the Commissioner for Municipal Administration, had undertaken inspection and was suggesting the following roads for development, the Subject said and suggested 33 roads for the Council's consideration.

In all, the Council said it would relay 49 .5 km roads at Rs. 15.24 crore in Wards 1, 6, 10, 12, 14, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 42, 54, 55, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 69, 70 and 72.

Opposition Councillors, particularly those from the Left parties, were up on their feet accusing the Mayor and officials of allotting more funds to a few wards, funds where not required and less to other wards.

K. Purushothaman (Ward 61), Leader of the Communist Party of India in the Council, said the Mayor and officials had allotted more than Rs. 25 lakh to all the wards except 59, 60 and 61.

CPI member R. Kalyanasundaram represents Ward 59 and A. Santhamani, Independent, represents Ward 60.

The Subject suggested taking up of work in Aishwarya Nagar in Ward 59 for 332 metres at Rs. 9.62 lakh, on Kattabomman Street in Ward 60 for 345 metres at Rs. 5.50 lakh and in Bhuvaneswari Nagar in Ward 61 for 332 metres at Rs. 8.90 lakh.

Mr. Purushothaman said ignoring the three Wards, the officials had suggested allotment of Rs. 1.04 crore for works in Ward 62, which was represented by R. Gayathri, daughter of Mayor R. Venkatachalam.

He also referred to the officials suggesting taking up works worth Rs. 71.70 in Ward 63, which was represented by Mayor R. Venkatachalam.

Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy, who intervened in the debate, said the Department of Municipal Administration granted the funds after the Corporation had sought the same.

He said the roads were selected based on an official report that said that UGD works had been completed on the roads.

Councillors, however, said the report was wrong as works had been completed in many other places in various Wards.

Mr. Kalyanasundaram said the officials had not carried out a proper inspection and urged the Commissioner to pay a visit to the areas.

C. Padmanabhan, Ward 3 Councillor and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, wanted to know why the officials selected G.V. Residency in Ward 23 and allotted Rs. 72 lakh.

He informed the Commissioner that no road was damaged there as no UGD work was taken up and suggested cancellation of allotment for the area and distribution of the fund for Wards 59, 60 and 61.

Mr. Ponnusamy said he would direct the engineers to take a fresh survey to distribute the funds. The Council finally agreed to cancel the allotment to G.V. Residency and distribute the same to Wards 59, 60 and 61.

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