Housing and infrastructure development have been accorded top priority in the annual budget of the city Corporation for the year 2010-11, presented by Deputy Mayor V. Jayaprakash on Saturday. No new taxes or tax hikes have been proposed.

While an amount of Rs.60 crore has been earmarked for the EMS mass housing scheme, targeting 3,000 families belonging to the weaker sections, the regeneration of 19 slums under the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) programme has been allocated Rs.75 crore.

The budget proposes the repair of 700 km of roads in the capital city. An amount of Rs.20 crore has been set apart for the purpose. A new industrial estate is to be set up at Thiruvallam at a cost of Rs.1 crore.

Markets and schools

The budget moots the construction of market complexes at Manacaud, Muttathara, Kulathur and Sreekaryam under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The government schools at Vazhamuttam, Jagathy, Kulathur, Pappanamcode, Kattela, Kanjirampara, Karikkakam and Poonthura are to be converted into model schools, while new buildings and laboratory facilities will be provided for those at Pattom, Cotton Hill, Karamana and PMG.

An outlay of Rs.50 lakh has been fixed for a plastic recycling unit to be set up as a joint venture. A satellite slaughter house at Kattela and a new electric crematorium at Attipra are other major proposals.

While the extension of the sewerage network to coastal areas is estimated to cost Rs.45 crore, an amount of Rs.1 crore will be spent on the modernisation of markets.

A sum of Rs.12 crore is to be expended on networking all the zonal offices of the Corporation with the headquarters at Palayam.

Addressing a press conference after the presentation of the budget, Mayor C. Jayan Babu said many Centrally-sponsored schemes taken up by the Corporation were bogged down by the delay in securing technical approval. “The absence of financial support for land acquisition and tender excess is another reason.”

He said the newly introduced e-payment system for remittance and payment of various taxes was expected to increase the tax collection. A Sunday market would be established in the city soon. A separate park for senior citizens had been proposed.

Mr. Babu alleged that the United Democratic Front (UDF) members in the council had precipitated the unpleasant incidents in the council during the budget presentation, which culminated in a clash. District Congress Committee president V.S. Sivakumar demanded stern action against the LDF councillors responsible for the assault on the UDF members.