Puttur, Nagari and Palamaner crave for welfare funds
The merger in most cases remains superficialFringe areas of civic bodies yet to be included in plans
TIRUPATI: The slow pace of development in the newly-upgraded municipalities in the district is causing concern among the councillors, who of late, are being grilled by the public at every available opportunity. They in turn are raising the issue in every council meeting but to no avail.
The `upgradation' of Puttur, Nagari and Palamaner panchayats to the level of municipality remained just on paper with no tangible development in infrastructure.
In fact, the towns had witnessed sanction of funds and launching of works at a better pace when they were just panchayats. The denizens are not fortunate enough to witness development commensurate to the taxes they pay, that have become ten times higher now. Still, the civic bodies are badly in need of funds to take up new works.
The merger of adjoining panchayats and colonies have, in most cases, remained superficial. Neither the residents of the panchayats could "emotionally integrate" into the town, nor have the developmental activities been extended to the panchayats.
For example, Nagari on the Chennai highway, was spread over 2-km radius as a village but suddenly became a town with 7-km radius. However, the fringe areas have yet to be included in the municipality's upkeep plan. Sweeping and desilting of drains continue to be done on the main roads while water supply has not been extended to new areas.
Satravada, Ekambarakuppam and Chintalapatteda, though were merged during upgradation, are not part of the development plan yet. "Be it sanitation, water supply, roads or even upkeep of burial ground, our village has been left far behind," rues K.S. Devarajan, 19th ward councillor, who represents Ekambarakuppam.
Palamaner, the last major town on the Bangalore highway, was also upgraded a couple of years back, but has not improved on any front.
The promise of "all-round development" made by none other than Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy during his maiden visit to the town have yet to take shape.
The only silver-lining is that the long-shelved plan to widen the main roads was taken up in Puttur and Nagari towns, of course, not without a lot of furore by the residents and shopkeepers. There is not much reason to rejoice over this as even the debris has not been removed after the demolition drive and the cleared area not linked properly to the existing carriageway, thus rendering the exercise futile.