Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri has sought Rs. 100 crore from the State Government for city development works, Mayor G. Thenmozhi has said.

She was responding to Communist Party of India (M) leader M. Ganesan's query at a council meeting here on Friday. Mr. Ganesan wanted to know why the Mayor had not sought funds from Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin when she met him recently.

Mr. Ganesan flayed the ruling party for interfering with the officials' work in regulating the shops in Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand. The number of shops, which was 123 in 1996, had gone up to 310 now. “Even the passenger waiting halls have been converted into shops,” he complained.

The CPI (M) leader said that the people felt that the civic body was not functioning well because of a fund crunch. Supporting the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader P. Salaimuthu on the charge of sewage mixing with drinking water, he displayed a bottle of contaminated water. The party councillors then staged a walkout.

Earlier, AIADMK members also walked out protesting the Corporation's decision to refuse permission for the party to hire the Tamukkam Ground for a meeting.

Congress member I. Siluvai complained that residents were forced to shell out Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 for repairing drinking water and underground drainage pipelines broken while executing the storm water drainage (SWD) work. The contractor was supposed to replace those pipelines, he said.

Independent councillor (Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam) R.K. Balayogi expressed concern that groundwater table in the city would further go down on implementation of the SWD work. Commissioner S. Sebastine said that the SWD was designed to harvest rainwater. Chief Engineer K. Sakthivel said that rainwater harvesting structures would be put up in smaller SWD structures also.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member V.K. Gurusamy complained that undue delay in implementing the SWD work was affecting the people, especially in commercial areas. The contractor was providing concrete slabs of poor quality to cover the structure, he alleged.

CPI(M) member Thilagar wanted the civic body to dredge the Sellur tank and make it a source of drinking water. To a query by party member M. Chellam, the Commissioner said that poor financial position of the corporation did not allow officials to disburse pensionary benefits to retired sanitary workers as promised in the previous meeting.

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