Absence of a regular Commissioner for Madurai Corporation has been taking its toll not only on the day-to-day work in the city, but also in resumption of the projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for which the State Government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs. 250 crore.
The Corporation could not keep up its commitment in mobilising adequate funds to make its contribution for the five works taken up under the Mission. While the local body managed to complete three projects, the officials made repeated appeals seeking funds from the State Government to complete all the works worth Rs. 600 crore.
However, with no funds coming forward from the State, two major works of construction of underground drainage and lining of storm water drainage abruptly came to a halt by the end of 2010.
Meanwhile, after the change of guard in the State and in the Corporation, the Mayor, V.V. Rajan Chellappa, and the then Commissioner, S. Natarajan, took up the issue again with the new Government.
But, Mr. Natarajan retired from services on December 31, 2011, following which the routine work in the Corporation has been managed by officials holding additional charge. First, it was the Regional Director for Municipal Administration, P. S. Soundararajan. Ever since he retired from services, N. Arumuga Nainar, an Assistant Commissioner in the Corporation has been holding charge of supervising the functioning of the local body.
Meanwhile, the State Government announced the allocation of the required funds to the Corporation with an aim to resume and complete the pending works of constructing underground drainage for 65 km and replacement of worn out pipelines for 116 km and lining of drainage channels for 49 km.
However, after the Government made the allocation, a fortnight ago, the works have not yet resumed.
When asked, the Mayor said that he expected the new Commissioner to join by next week. He told reporters that he wanted the major projects to be carried out under the direct supervision of the regular officer.
Though the Corporation was able to provide protected drinking water by installing huge tanks in Vilangudi areas, people of Tirunagar and Melamadai were still complaining of the basic services not reaching them. Mr. Rajan Chellappa said that such complaints would soon be redressed.
The Corporation was in the processing of preparing detailed project reports for various new works under the JNNRUM phase II. These works include underground drainage and water project for newly-added areas and city traffic improvement plans that includes construction of many fly-overs and elevated roads.