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Mosquito eradication, waste disposal get priority in budget

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Staff Reporter

Opposes entry of multinationals into retail sector

KOCHI: The corporation budget presented in the council hall on Wednesday has proposed the formation of a consortium for urban development projects.

The support of experts, financial and technical agencies and institutions in the public and private sectors was required for carrying forward the urban development projects, said C.K. Manisankar, Deputy Mayor, who presented the budget in the council.

The budget earmarks Rs.43.92 crore for the support mechanism for collecting and transporting municipal solid waste from houses to the treatment plant at Brahmapuram. The budget support will be utilised for the purchase of 131 hand carts, 72 wheel barrows, six covered tipper lorries, two tipper trucks, six compressors, one hydraulic lift, two crew cabs, one jeep and 75 autorickshaws.

The purchase of these vehicles and support system will be made in three months.

The green belt around the Brahmapuram plant will begin in June.

The walkway, medicinal and vegetable gardens, guest house, conference hall, staff quarters, garage for corporation vehicles and workshop will get a budgetary support of Rs.75 lakh.

The budget has proposals for a mosquito eradication programme. The regular anti-mosquito operations like cleaning the drains and flushing them out with saline water and spraying of bio-larvicides will be carried out. The dream of a mosquito-free Kochi can only be achieved by setting up a modern sewerage system. The project report for such a system is being prepared. The project would have a budget support of Rs.24.62 crore.

The income of the corporation during the budget year will be Rs.6,423,033,468 and expenditure Rs.6,339,352,000. The revenue reserve would be Rs.4,60,46,347 and balance of Rs.3,76,35,121, according to the budget.

A Goshree Square would be set up near the Kerala High Court complex for buses coming from the Goshree bridges. The budget has also earmarked Rs.50 lakh for the project.

The Thammanam-Pullepady road completion will get a support of Rs.40 lakh. The budget has also earmarked Rs.2 crore for completing the four-way road development project. The Palluruthy parallel road project will get a support of Rs.1 crore.

On the metro railway project, the budget said the concerns raised by experts in the city mobility plan should be addressed. The corporation is against entry of multinationals into the retail sector.

If the civic body will have to issue licence to any such agencies for opening the shop in the city as per the directive of the State government or any other agency, the multinationals will have to pay a licence fee based on the floor area of the shop. The minimum licence fee will be Rs.1 lakh, the budget said.

Opposition criticism

While the Mayor and Deputy Mayor hailed the budget as a path-breaking one which would ensure the comprehensive development of the city, the Opposition councillors criticised the budget as repetition of the earlier projects.

Addressing presspersons, UDF parliamentary party leader A.B. Sabu said the budget, which heavily banked on the Central aid and funds provided by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, failed to suggest steps for increasing the revenue of the civic body.

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