In spite of opposition from representatives of some local bodies

Five more wards are to be added to the city following the merger of the Tiruverumbur town panchayat, Pappakurichi, Ellakudi, Keezha Kalkandarkottai and Alathur village panchayats, all located in the eastern periphery of the city, with the Tiruchi Corporation.

The Corporation currently has 60 wards in the four zones Ariyamangalam, Golden Rock, Srirangam and K.Abishekapuram. Three of the five new wards would come under Golden Rock and two under Ariyamangalam zones.

The State government has already approved the merger last year and recently a government order was issued increasing the total number of wards in the city to 65, Corporation sources told The Hindu. A special officer has also been appointed by the government to oversee the merger of the local bodies with the Corporation.

Sources said that the five local bodies would come under the Corporation's administrative control after the local body elections.

All the 65 wards would go to elections under the Tiruchi Corporation when the local body elections are held.

Once the merger is through, the geographical spread of the Tiruchi Corporation will increase to 167.23 square kilometres from the existing 146.90 sq km. The population of the Corporation will increase to 7,96,644 from 7,52,066 (figures as per 2001 census).

The merger would go through notwithstanding the opposition from sections of elected representatives in some of the local bodies concerned. Last year some of the elected councils of these local bodies adopted resolutions opposing the proposal.

A section of councillors of the Tiruverambur Town Panchayat have also opposed the move at a meeting on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy convened a consultative meeting with the administrative and elected heads of the local bodies concerned to discuss the delineation of wards.

Wards 1, 2 and 3 of Pappakurichi panchayat would become the 61{+s}{+t} ward and wards 4 and 5 would become the 65{+t}{+h} ward of the Corporation. Wards 1 to 4 of Ellakudi panchayat, wards 1 and 2 of Alathur and wards 1 and 2 of Keezha Kalkandarkottai would be the 63{+r}{+d} ward of the Corporation. Wards 1 to 9 of the Tiruverambur town panchayat would make the 64{+t}{+h} ward, while wards 10 to 18 would be the 65{+t}{+h} ward of the expanded Corporation.

Any omitted and continuous area could be added to the new wards after sending a proposal to the government; Mr.Balsamy informed the executive heads of the local bodies.

He also assured that all necessary basic amenities would be provided to the newly added wards.

S.Raja Mohamed, City Engineer, and P.Sivapatham, Junior Engineer (Planning), Tiruchi Corporation, M.Tamilselvan, president, Ellakudi Panchayat, A.Raja, president, Keezha Kalkandarkottai panchayat, S.Vijaya, president, Pappakurichi panchayat, and Balasubramani, Executive Officer, Tiruveambur Town Panchayat, attended the meeting.