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Rs.702.05-cr. budget for Madurai Corporation

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MAIDEN EFFORT: The Madurai Corporation Mayor Thenmozhi Gopinathan presenting the general budget for 2007-2008 on Wednesday. PHOTO: S.JAMES.
MAIDEN EFFORT: The Madurai Corporation Mayor Thenmozhi Gopinathan presenting the general budget for 2007-2008 on Wednesday. PHOTO: S.JAMES.

S. Sundar

Plan to shift Central Vegetable Market to a site behind Mattuthavani

MADURAI: The Mayor, G. Thenmozhi, presented a Rs. 6.27-crore deficit budget at an outlay of Rs. 702.05 crore for the year 2007-08 on Wednesday. The deficit has come down by Rs. 1.9 crore when compared to Rs. 8.20-crore deficit incurred in the revised budget for the last fiscal.

Several development works including the second pipeline from Vaigai dam (Rs. 59.31 crore), improvement of drainage channels (Rs. 165 crore), solid waste management (Rs. 74.89 crore) and construction of apartments to replace 30,651 hutments (Rs. 454.89 crore) and works to improve infrastructure around them (Rs. 117.30 crore) will be taken up under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The Corporation has planned to shift the Central Vegetable Market to Mattuthavani at a cost of Rs. 60 crore. The market site will be used for a multi-storey parking lot to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 22 crore.

Two electric crematoriums, one at Moolakarai cremation yard and another at K. Pudur (with private participation), beautification of four Chithirai Streets around the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and renovation of maternity hospitals were other highlights of the budget.

Clarifying the doubts raised by councillors on how the Corporation could manage "too much of loan burden," the Assistant Commisioner (Accounts) V. Sridharan said the local body had maintained a good record in repaying its loans.

"So much so, we received an incentive of Rs. 66 lakh from State Finance Commission for prompt repayment," he added.

Implementation of mega projects could not be possible without loans and there was no need for any apprehension in repayment, he said.

The Corporation hopes to raise additional funds by way of meeting over 85 per cent of tax amount for the current year and 70 per cent of tax arrears, a condition laid down to get assistance from JnNURM, he added.

Earlier, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Ganesan, cautioned against too much borrowing. Questioning whether the State Government was supporting the financially weak Corporation, he said the smiling face of the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, printed on the budget copy, signified that he was laughing at the "administrative degradation of the Corporation."

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members opposed these remarks. Its councillor, V.K. Gurusamy, listed out various welfare measures of the State Government.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader, Salamuthu, sought more allocation for infrastructure development. The Congress member, I. Siluvai, called for steps to make the "dream" budget a reality.

The Mayor announced that all efforts would be made to get additional financial support from the State Government.

The Deputy Mayor, P.M. Mannan, and the Commissioner, D.J. Dinakkaren, were present.

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