The 46-member team studied amenities at three cities

A 46-member team of councillors and officials of Mangalore City Corporation returned from their seven-day study tour of Gujarat on Wednesday.

The team members included 27 councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party, seven councillors of the Congress, a councillor of the Communist Party of India (Marxists) and an Independent.

Sources in the corporation told The Hindu that the State Government had sponsored the tour for studying infrastructure at municipal corporations of Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

The Government had sanctioned Rs. 6 lakh for the tour. The team led by Mayor Praveen and Deputy Mayor Geetha Nayak had left here on January 31.

Sudhir Shetty Kannur, whip in the council, told The Hindu that the team noted that Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation which had implemented e-governance effectively was issuing building licences and other certificates in 20 minutes if proper documents had been submitted. It had presented Rs. 1,734 crore surplus budget for 2011-12, he said.

All the three corporations were supplying drinking water for three to four hours daily, he said.

Mr. Kannur said that Vadodara Municipal Corporation was collecting water bill and house-to-house solid waste collection charge in advance for a financial year while collecting the annual property tax. It was charging Rs. 40 a month as solid waste collection charge. It was charging only Rs. 450 a year as water bill for residential water supply connections.

Ranganath C. Kini, former whip and the councillor, said that road transport facility at Ahmedabad was impressive. A major road had about 10 ft wide median where bus stops had been constructed. On either sides of the median wider roads had been laid. “We saw uninterrupted traffic movement in Ahmedabad which is planning to go for round-the-clock water supply,” he said.

Mr. Kini said that Vadodara had 73 parks with Sayaji Park spread over 90 acres of land.

He said that in Vadodara the corporation had built an apartment for slum-dwellers and moved them there. It was a good example of community living.

The three cities had many slum areas. “Not everything is rosy in those cities,” Mr. Kini said.

Jayanthi B. Shetty, councillor the CPI (M), said she was impressed with the road transport facility and construction of bus stops at Ahmedabad. She was not impressed with any other facility in other cities.

In Vadodara, the quality of drinking water supplied was not up to the mark. The three cities had many slums.

Congress councillor Jacintha Vijay Alfred said that she was impressed with roads and water distribution system in the three cities. Surat was a clean city. But garbage was seen dumped by the road side at Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Ahmedabad had largest number of slums, she said.

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