The present Corporation council has improved urban infrastructure and municipal governance in spite of the financial constraints and acute shortage of staff in the civic body, Mayor A.K. Premajam has said.

In an interview to The Hindu here on Friday, Prof. Premajam, who completed three years in office, said that the Corporation had gone through a period of uncertainty but “we went ahead with the development initiatives.”

The transfer of officials from the Corporation to the Calicut Development Authority after its revival last year had almost left the engineering department void. No posts have been filled till now.

“The Vigilance cases registered against Corporation officials have been done with ulterior moves for blocking development activities in the city. It had a demoralising effect on us but that did not stop us from implementing the planned schemes,” Prof. Premajam, who had served as Mayor during 1995-98, said.

Anganwadis

She said the Corporation’s major achievement was setting up anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme for the economically and socially backward families. Twenty-three anganwadis had been constructed and another 22 were being constructed. LPG connection and pressure cookers had been provided in all the 538 anganwadis in the city. Uniforms would be introduced for the children shortly.

Value-based education had been the main concern of the council. Eighteen projects had been introduced this fiscal. One of them was counselling programmes for adolescents, she added.

Waste treatment

The council had planned to set up an advanced solid waste treatment plant at the trenching ground at Njeliyanparamba and a modern abattoir at Kothi. Measures had been taken for decentralising solid waste management in all wards. Pipe composting and vermicompost had already begun. Subsidy would be given to households for adopting bio-gas plants.

Prof. Premajam said the council established an art gallery at the cost of Rs.2 crore near Town Hall. A cultural centre at Anakkulam was in the final stages of completion. This would be beneficial to drama artistes for conducting rehearsals and seminars.

A working women’s hostel at Mankkavu was on the anvil. Tenders for the project would be called soon. Parking-cum-shopping plazas at Meenchanda and at Medical College were other major projects envisaged for the city.

The Mayor said that work on the stadiums for the National Games was progressing apace. The Corporation contributed 45 per cent of the cost. The remaining was shared by the National Games Secretariat. The existing pavilion of the E.M.S. Corporation stadium would be restructured. A new parking complex, which could accommodate 600 cars and 700 two-wheelers, would be built, she said.

Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation package for the Kalluthankkadu slum dwellers was on the top agenda of the council. The construction of the wholesale vegetable market and flats for the residents will begin this month.

Plans were afoot to construct a new office complex on the eastern side of the existing Corporation office as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the civic body. “Most of the mega projects will be implemented in the next two years,” Prof. Premajam added.

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