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Updated: June 18, 2013 13:38 IST

Is Coimbatore Corporation hit by funds, ask Councillors

Staff Reporter
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Work on to lay pre-stressed concrete pipes on Puliakulam Road as part of the Under Ground Drainage (UGD) scheme, on Thursday. Photo: K. Ananthan
The Hindu Work on to lay pre-stressed concrete pipes on Puliakulam Road as part of the Under Ground Drainage (UGD) scheme, on Thursday. Photo: K. Ananthan

Unable to carry out routine works in Wards, they say.

Is the work being carried out under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) affecting regular development functioning?

This is the question Councillors cutting across party lines are asking after noticing a delay in sanctioning works.

The Councillors, on condition of anonymity, say that it appears that the Corporation has bit a more than on its plate than it can handle since a good portion of the income earned goes towards paying the civic body’s contribution towards JNNURM.

The Corporation has to bear 30 per cent of the project cost incurred under the JNNURM scheme And it also has to use a portion of its income to pay the loans it has availed of.

Outcome Budget

In the 2013-14 Outcome Budget, the Corporation has allotted funds to the tune of Rs. 48.17 crore for various projects — n Rs. 24 crore for storm-water drains, Rs. 14.50 crore for a comprehensive sewerage scheme, Rs. 2 crore for the 24x7 water supply scheme, Rs. 1 crore for the rejuvenation of water bodies, Rs. 1 crore for improvements to natural drains, and Rs. 5.67 crore for e-governance.

The Corporation had presented a deficit budget of Rs. 20 crore.

A ruling party councillor says that the shortage of funds was affecting regular operations such as constructing drains or laying new roads. As a result, contractors who take up projects on a regular basis too are feeling the pinch, as there are very few projects on offer.

This had been the case for the last year or so.

A contractor close to the ruling establishment says that it is largely repair and maintenance work with a minimum budget that is available for them.

Construction of new parks, roads or other works that usually get passed at the zonal meetings are few and far in between.

Earlier crisis

A senior AIADMK Councillor says that when there was a financial crisis around 10 years ago, low-budget works were taken up at the ward-level. But that is not happening now. The Corporation is forced to look up to the State Government for funds, which does not bode well for a city that has big ambitions.

Officials, however, say that the Corporation was not sanctioning storm-water drain projects at places covered under the JNNURM project to avoid duplication. Likewise, it avoids sanctioning natural drain cleaning works for the very reason.

On the water supply front, the Corporation sanctions works without delay. Funds shortage has never been a problem for the Corporation, they add.

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