R. Vimal Kumar
As it is set to attain the status of a Corporation
Tuticorin: The town wears a festive look as it is set to attain the status of a Corporation on August 5.
Festoons, illuminations and huge cutouts of the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, and the Minister for Local Administration, M.K. Stalin, have spruced up the streets in the town leading to the inaugural.
Even as the 142-year-old municipality is on the threshold of a new dawn, a wide section of public is keeping their fingers crossed to see how the basic amenities are going to be improved. They sounded skeptical in the context that the growth of municipality had been bogged down during the last few decades, owing to poor road infrastructure, acute drinking water scarcity and frequent power failures.
Moreover, it had fallen short of the technical requirements set by the government for elevation to a Corporation, by miles.
A senior municipal official told The Hindu that the population of the proposed Corporation would be only about 3.5 lakh against the norm of 5 lakh set for upgrading a municipality into a Corporation, even after the boundaries were drawn by merging adjoining village panchayats.
Similarly, revenue collection would be short by at least Rs.20 crore vis-a-vis the targets despite the amalgamation of 10 village panchayats with the present municipality.
Anton Gomez, president of National Union of Fishermen and a social activist, told The Hindu that the town should have been elevated to a Corporation only after it grew by its means rather than through technical means (i.e. by merging 10 adjoining panchayats).
“In the present scenario, it will be a big question as how the administration is going to provide drinking water to such a wide area when they have already failed miserably to supply to a lesser population,” he added.
During an inspection to review the arrangements being made at the site of inaugural here on Sunday, Mr. Stalin said that infrastructure would be bettered appropriately to commensurate with the new status.
He assured that suggestions of people of different section would be considered while carrying out development projects.