Rs.54.55 crore had been set aside for repair and renovation of roads and footpaths: Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef

Infrastructure improvement is the main focus of the projected budget for the Kozhikode Corporation in 2014-15 financial year.

In his budget speech at the Corporation Council on Monday, Deputy Mayor Professor P.T. Abdul Latheef said a total of Rs.54.55 crore had been set aside for repair and renovation of roads and footpaths.

In 2013-14, Mr. Latheef said the Corporation renovated 294 roads and footpaths, and paid Rs.6.48 crore to contractors. His budget presentation said 156 roads had been completed using the civic body’s road asset protection funds at a cost of Rs.2.51 crore and road development funds to the tune of over Rs.5.7 crore.

Repair works on 162 roads was under progress for over Rs.9 crore, he said. Also, over Rs.2 crore had been spent on building 20 roads for which the public had given land to the Corporation for free.

Mr. Latheef said streetlights would be installed in places where there were none for Rs.60 lakh. He said the Corporation had already bought 375 tube sets, and Rs.1 crore had been allotted for maintenance of streetlights in 2014-15. LED lights would be installed for Rs.1.4 crore while Rs.50 lakh would be spent for installing high and low masts.

Another major infrastructure expenditure would be the nature of construction of storm water drainages at Rs.14.15 crore. He said a detailed project report on two storm water drain packages for Rs.54.80 crore had already been submitted to the State government.

The Deputy Mayor admitted that there had been a hurdle in the construction of comprehensive sewage programme for the city under the Kerala Comprehensive Development Programme for an estimated Rs.65.08 crore.

He said 25 sewage drains had been constructed while work on another 35 drains was under progress. Mr. Latheef said Rs.4.8 crore was being utilised for this purpose in the current financial year. A further Rs.5.65 crore would be utilised for construction and protection of sewage drains.

Mr. Latheef said Rs.1.5 crore had been used for implementing the second phase development programmes of slums in Thirunilamparambu, Cheriyllathacheri, Maruthamoli, Thaikoottam, Kozhikode beach area, Thekkepadanna, Kulathara and Kommeri under Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP)

The Corporation, in an attempt to address the parking woes in the city, said it would renovate 53 cents in Palayam and give it a facelift to house food courts, a taxi stand parking lot, and a four-screen multiplex.

The budget presentation also allotted funds for identifying and renovating cultural spaces within the city. Funds were set aside for construction of a mini-convention centre, maintenance of the Anakkulam cultural centre, Kovoor community hall, Jubilee hall, Tagore hall, Town hall, S.K. Pottekatt hall and the Beypore cultural centre, Mr. Latheef said.

Funds were also set aside for a memorial for the iconic Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammed Basheer.

Green spaces in Karuvassery, Thadambattuthazham Rahman Bazaar, Cheruvanoor and Chittikulam would be built for an estimated Rs. 43.7 lakh.

Welfare sector received focus in the budget with pension for Kudumbasree workers with a start-up funds of Rs.6 lakh. Mr. Latheef said the Corporation’s source-level garbage disposal mechanism had reached 5,057 houses by supplying pipe compost units, vermi compost units, and bio-gas plants at 90 per cent subsidy.

About 200 costal families had been supplied drinking water connections through the ‘Kudineer’ scheme at Rs.18 lakh. In 2014-15, 20 families would get boats and fishing nest. ‘Ashwas’ scheme would provide income for women.

The budget presentation saw the allocation of Rs.2.25 crore for landless in the Scheduled Castes community. Rs. 75 lakh had been allotted to help them complete ongoing house construction and another Rs.18.75 lakh to repair existing houses.

Budget also allotted funds for the education sector, including smart classrooms in primary schools and multi-purpose hall for students.

More In: Kozhikode