Special Correspondent

Local bodies will be roped in, says Minister

The project will cost Rs.1.25 crore Traffic improvement project will be expeditedDevelopment Control Rules to be released this year

CHENNAI: Fifty parks and playfields in select towns will be taken up for improvement during 2006-07 at a cost of Rs.1.25 crore.

Under the scheme, to be implemented in coordination with the local bodies, each park will be beautified with a grant of Rs.2.5 lakh, Information and Publicity Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi said on Saturday.

Reviewing the work of technical officers of the Town and Country Planning Department here, he said the department should increase the grant component from 50 to 100 per cent without insisting on any matching contribution from the local bodies. The parks should be maintained well by spending the funds properly; the local bodies should identify agencies for maintenance.

The Government would speed up the traffic improvement project in Krishnagiri, Mannargudi, Perambalur, Dharapuram, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Thirumangalam, Melur, Kovilpatti and Theni. He advised the Regional Joint Directors to ensure the local bodies submitted proposals in a month. The scheme would be extended to 10 more towns during 2006-07. Each local body would be provided a maximum grant of Rs.25 lakh, with their contribution of 25 per cent of the cost.

The Minister said that since the formation of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning, no Development Control Rules had been framed. The rules would be released this year, and the Tamil version published simultaneously.

The e-governance project should be implemented at the earliest, and the web site developed in Tamil also. Online and touch screen facility should be provided, the Minister said, according to an official release.