Coimbatore Corporation Budget 2012-13 throws the spotlight on students and sportspersons with a slew of novel, much-awaited announcements.
In his customary Budget address, Mayor S.M. Velusamy has promised to start a section with English as the medium of instruction in Class VI in all Corporation high schools. The civic body will appoint on contract basis the teachers necessary.
Following councillors' request, Mr. Velusamy promised to consider introducing the same at Class I and Plus One.
In order to encourage Plus Two students excel in studies, the Corporation will sponsor the government-prescribed higher education fee for its school students who secure the first three ranks.
The sponsorship will continue till they complete the course.
For Corporation school students who excel in sports at the state or national level, the Corporation will sponsor their training cost and fund their travel expenses as well, according to Mr. Velusamy.
More on the education front. The Mayor's address says that the Corporation will construct new buildings at Rs. 1 crore at its middle school in Ondipudur, improve facilities at noon meal centres in schools and reward teachers who help students score well in public examinations.
In equal measure, if not more, the Mayor has spoken about sports development in the city.
He has promised an indoor stadium at Rs. 1.50 crore, a swimming pool of international standards at Rs. 1.70 crore, a sports hostel at Rs. 60 lakh, and, above all, a hockey field with synthetic track at R.S. Puram Boys' Higher Secondary School at a cost of Rs. 6 crore.
He has also announced another indoor stadium with gymnasium at Muthukumar Nagar for Rs. 40 lakh.
The Corporation will take up the work with funding from and assistance with the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and State Government.
The announcement regarding sports infrastructure comes close on the heels of the petition P. Rajkumar, Chairman, North Zone, submitted to the Corporation authorities.
Later at the debate on the Budget, he said that the announcements, if translated into action, will provide the much-needed fillip to sports infrastructure in the State's second largest city.
The news of a hockey stadium with synthetic turf comes as a welcome gift for sportspersons, says Senthil Rajkumar, Secretary, Coimbatore District Hockey Association.
“Chennai, Tirunelveli and Tiruchi have their own turf ground. They are showing the desired results and have also produced star players. This was a huge setback for our boys while playing tournaments.”
“If the Corporation keeps its promise then there's nothing like it. It will not only be a boon for volleyball but for all indoor games,” says V.C. Ramalingam, former international volleyball player and coach of Sri Rams Volleyball Academy.