Staff Reporter

Each ward which was in the municipal limits earlier will receive an additional sum of Rs.50,000.

Kozhikode: After making a few amendments, the city Council on Wednesday passed the budget of the Kozhikode Corporation for 2008-2009. Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef presented the budget on Tuesday expecting revenue of Rs.182.49 crore and expenditure of Rs.179.83 crore.

One of the amendments is the ward-wise allocation to the 55 segments in the city. Each ward which was in the municipal limits earlier will receive an additional sum of Rs.50,000. The budget had proposed a sum of Rs.5 lakh. Similarly, those wards attached to the Corporation will get Rs.8 lakh each instead of Rs.6.5 lakh.

Several councillors raised the demand to increase the allotment to wards during the discussion. Mayor M. Bhaskaran chaired the session.

Taking part in the discussions, Congress member P.K. Mamukoya criticised the budget saying it did not properly address the basic problems of the city. No creative schemes were in the budget to tackle drinking water shortage, mosquito menace and traffic congestion.

Mr. Mamukoya charged the Corporation with adopting double standards in availing itself of funds from the Asian Development Bank. It had no qualms in borrowing funds although the CPI(M) had been critical of accepting grants from the Manila-based international funding agency.

The Corporation should be grateful to the Centre because the latter approved several multi-crore development projects for the city, he said.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) councillor P. Mamukoya Haji pointed out that several schemes proposed in the budget were a repetition of last year’s budget.

He demanded that the Corporation take up the construction work of the bus terminals at Meenchanda on its own instead of tendering it on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor K.V. Venugopalan said that the budget was steeped in statistical jugglery and a handiwork of an economic expert.

He demanded that the Corporation appoint workers on daily wages when the contingency staff posted for cleaning activities went on leave.

In his reply speech, Prof. Latheef, who is also the Chairman of the Finance Standing Committee, said that the budget contained provisions for the overall development of the city.

“It shows the smartness of the Corporation in availing itself of the funds from the Centre. The Corporation submitted viable projects which the Centre could not ignore,” he said.

He said that some of the projects mentioned in the previous budget were proposed this year too as they could not be implemented. Sometimes the projects could be completed within a year, Prof. Latheef said.