`Streetlights issue may be resolved'

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: Hopes of pending schemes getting cleared soon have returned to the Coimbatore Corporation. The deadlock over the issue of privatised streetlight maintenance may also be resolved soon, the Deputy Mayor, K. Raghupathy, has said.

He had led a team of Opposition councillors to Chennai last week to meet the Commissioner of Municipal Administration, Ambuj Sharma, mainly to discuss streetlight maintenance.

(The award of contract for maintenance had been halted by the CMA's office as it rejected invitation of bids separately for the four zones in the city. The orders had come before Mr. Sharma took charge. This had even led to the adjourning of the Corporation Council meeting last month with the Opposition members insisting that it be held only after the issue was resolved.)

Zone-wise tender

The Deputy Mayor claimed that the present CMA was in favour of zone-wise tender and had left the entire process to the discretion of the Corporation.

A `mission' on one issue seemed to have provided an opportunity for the councillors to raise all the pending projects with the CMA. "We were given an assurance that the process of according sanction for all the schemes will be speeded up," said Mr. Raghupathy. However, the Rs. 110-crore Pilloor second phase drinking water scheme did not figure in the discussions.

Laying metal pipes

For the Rs. 168-crore underground drainage scheme proposed for three zones in the city, the Opposition had suggested that metal pipes could be laid instead of cement concrete pipes.

Mr. Raghupathy said the Opposition had already suggested this and it would involve reworking of the cost. He said the CMA had indicated of technical sanction being given for the scheme soon.

As for the proposed subway at Gandhipuram, a letter from the National Highways for clearance was required. The CMA had also asked for details of envisaged use of the proposed indoor stadium at G.V. Residency.

A mofussil bus stand on Mettupalayam Road, a new flower market complex and a building for the Corporation's South Zone office were the other pending schemes that were discussed with the CMA, he said.

The Opposition also utilised this opportunity to push for drinking water supply to the 500-odd unapproved layouts. The party leaders had pointed out that the Corporation could provide these for Rs. 3 crores. But at present it spent Rs. 1 crore every year for supply of water in lorries to these layouts.

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