R.Srikanth

CHENNAI: Implementation of several routine civic works in localities across the city had been put on hold in view of the code of conduct for elections being in force.

Barring small projects that were launched before the election schedule was announced such as stormwater drains, all others, including repair of roads damaged in the monsoon last quarter, figure in the list.

Residents and their associations want change in the code to facilitate implementation of some projects.

K. Ramadoss, president, North Chennai District Exnora, said that the Election Commission should relax the regulations for projects that are imperative. Widening of the Aynavaram Road and improvement works to the sewerage network in the area are some of the projects that have been delayed for the code.

Work to repair roads in Velachery damaged in the monsoon rain would be further delayed, said S. Kumararaja, secretary, Federation of Velachery Residents’ Welfare Association.

He complained that though the local Chennai Corporation officials had enough time to repair the roads, little was done. With the code in force, the official would repair these roads only after the last phase of polling in May.

A senior official of the Corporation, however, said that routine engineering works, including garbage clearance and filling up of pothole could be undertaken even when the code is in force. He added that almost 95 per cent of the development works of Chennai Corporation for 2008-09 had been finalised and the contracts awarded.

Regarding any major, important project which had been postponed, he mentioned delay in construction of stormwater drain network under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission would result in cost escalation. Under the JNNURM scheme it was proposed to construct micro and macro canals to alleviate the flooding problem in the city and suburbs at a cost of Rs.1,400 crore.

But with the code of conduct coming into play, there is bound to be escalation of cost by two or three percent, he added.

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