The Rs. 18.27-crore surplus budget presented by C.K. Manisankar, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of Finance Standing Committee in the Corporation Council on Saturday, is a comprehensive one that took into consideration all the development requirements of the city, said Mayor Mercy Williams.
She was addressing the media after the budget presentation.
This budget outlined projects for addressing pressing development issues faced by the city, like inadequate transporting facilities.
Projects aimed at social welfare, like the poverty alleviation schemes as well as those aimed at solving the shortage of drinking water are examples of this, Ms. Williams said.
Unlike previous years, projects mentioned in this budget used funds allotted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP), she said.
Addressing the media, Mr. Manisankar said that this was a hi-tech budget, as it strove to modernise the operation of the civic body.
It also took up the cause of women and above all it was ‘green budget' – given the efforts taken to mitigate the impact of global warming.
The project for renovating and heritage conservation of Broadway has also been approved.
This will include schemes for improving the condition of the roads leading to Broadway, having better facilities for pedestrians, improving the entrance to Broadway from the Banerji Road and ensuring free flow of traffic, he said. Answering a question, Mr. Manisankar said the absence of the Secretary during the last seven months had affected the functioning of the civic body. P.G. Thomas, who succeeded Mini Antony as Secretary, did not come to the office regularly. It has been recently said that he was transferred. This has been brought to the notice of the State government, he said.
The budget repeated old projects and there is no new project, said A.B. Sabu, Leader of Opposition. Also, there is an effort to present projects, which were being implemented using funds from Union and State governments, as the civic body's projects, he said.
The present council could implement none of the projects announced in the previous years. This budget has been presented keeping in mind the coming elections in September, Mr. Sabu said.