Absence of any announcement on bus stand irks them

Flaying the Corporation Budget 2014-15 as a vacuous document, councillors of the main Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam staged a walk out from the Budget discussion at the Corporation Council on Friday.

The Opposition, including the DMK, severely criticised the Budget which it said was repetitive of several pending proposals and bereft of any development agenda. The absence of announcements with respect to the setting up of an integrated bus stand and the shifting of the Gandhi Market came in for sharp criticism from a cross section of the councillors.

Setting the tone of the discussion, M. Mustafa, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said the Budget was bereft of any new initiative and many of the works which found mention in last year’s budget had been repeated. The deficit of the current year has been reduced largely by increasing taxes over the past year.

R. Hema, Congress, said that rather than increasing tax burden on the people, the corporation should focus on collecting tax arrears. She called for the appointment of adequate number of teachers in the corporation schools.

K. Shankar, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, regretted that attempt had not been made to regularise unapproved layouts and issue building plan approvals in the five newly added wards of the city.

R.C. Ganesan of the DMK lamented that allocation had been made for blacktopping just 10 km of mud roads in the newly added areas of the city.

M. Anbazhagan (DMK), former Deputy Mayor, said deficit continue to remain high though revenue has increased. Proposals on establishing an integrated bus stand, shifting of wholesale sections of Gandhi Market, construction of commercial complexes at Diamond Jubilee building and at Sengulam Colony, had been put in cold storage. “The Budget has come as a disappointment to the people,” he said and led the walk out of his colleagues.

The Budget, however, came in for wholesome praise from AIADMK members. The party councillor S. Baskar criticised the DMK’s stand and wondered what they had done for the city development during the two previous tenures. R. Gnanasekar, K. Abhishekapuram, zone chairman, welcomed the move to set up bi-cycle tracks and hope centres in city.

J. Srinivasan, Ariyamangalam zone chairman, said the debt burden of the corporation had been reduced over the past couple of years. He welcomed the decisions to set up a Green Park and and allocation of funds for preventing pollution of Uyyakondan canal.