Mayor: Corporation revenue augmented by Rs. 15 crore
Boasting that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government was able to bring about administrative reforms in Madurai Corporation, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa exuded confidence that the local body would soon be able to become financially self-sufficient by augmenting its revenue resources.
He was talking to reporters here on Thursday about the AIADMK council completing one year in office in the local body. “Most part of the first year was spent on setting right the “degenerated” administration during the 15-year-rule of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The DMK left several projects incomplete and we were able to successfully remove all those hurdles in the path of development,” Mr. Chellappa said.
Expressing satisfaction over efforts taken in to provide better services by the corporation, he said his only regret was in not able to complete the storm water drainage and underground drainage works in the city.
He accused the previous DMK administrations, both in the State and Madurai Corporation, of failing to provide the local body’s share in execution of works under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The detailed project report for the pending works under the Mission had been submitted to the State government for getting clearance for the Rs. 250 crore budgetary allocation made by the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the same, he said.
In the process of identifying unassessed and under-assessed buildings in the city for levying fresh property tax, Mr. Chellappa said that the local body has augmented its revenue by at least Rs. 15 crore.
“If the same exercise is completed in all the 100 wards, we will be able to mobilise enough funds to meet the Corporation’s establishment expenses and also for taking up all basic works in the wards,” he said.
Besides, minimum basic services had been the extended areas, he added. He recalled that several promises made by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa during the local body election were in different stages of implementation.
He boasted of having introduced “Corporation towards People,” a public grievance redressal mechanism, ‘Clean Madurai 2012’ — identification of Corporation properties in the city, and renovation of parks and mass cleaning work on Saturdays as the achievements of the AIADMK rule.
Enquiry into the waiver of property tax to the tune of Rs. 24 crore proposed for Madura Coats was still pending before the State government, the Mayor said.
He said that the proposal made by the then Corporation Commissioner S. Natarajan was at an early stage and no order was made providing the huge waiver to the company, he said.
Mr. Chellappa said that the Corporation council had not given its consent for the proposal and the council had the right to reverse the process, he added.
When his attention was drawn to the controversy over Dhaya Cyber Park owned by the family members of Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, the Mayor said that the Corporation has put up a board outside the building on the 120 Feet Road claiming that part of the cyber park premises encroached upon the Corporation land.
Stating that the action on eviction had not been concluded, he said the local body would take over the land anytime it required it for its use.
On a question of not levying property tax to the multi-storey building, Mr. Chellappa said that the company had not produced the necessary documents to enable the corporation officials to levy the tax.
When asked about the proposal to double the drinking water charges with retrospective effect, Mr. Chellappa said that the issue was under the consideration of the officials and the decision on it would be made public at the next council meeting.
Stating that the new council had introduced several administrative reforms, the Mayor added that long pending arrears of provident fund and pensionary benefits were cleared in the last few months. Besides, every effort has been taken to provide birth and death certificates at the earliest.
“For the first time, we have made wearing of identity cards to officials and workers compulsory on the Corporation premises with an objective of keeping middlemen at bay,” he added.
Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal said that several teams of officials were making a survey of buildings in the added areas that had not been levied property tax. The work is expected to bring in additional revenue to the corporation.