Funds allocated for `greener' Chennai

Staff Reporter

Proposals include planting of saplings, beach beautification, parks' renovation

CHENNAI: Radha Sambandam became the first woman to present a budget at the Ripon Building here on Monday, laying out several proposals for a greener, healthier city. Discussion on the budget has been scheduled for Wednesday and 40 members have sought permission to participate.

The `green' proposals include planting 10,000 saplings on the roadsides and in public places, with tree guards for protection.

Beach beautification schemes for the Marina, Elliots Beach and the stretch opposite the Secretariat have been allocated Rs. 25 crore.

Parks including Natesan Park, Indira Nagar Park, Sivan Park, Tower Park and Thiru. Vi. Ka. Park will be renovated this year. Culverts will be set up in those parks that have been named after historical figures, carrying inscriptions about their lives. The project to create electricity from garbage could take off this year at Kodungaiyur. Tenders will be invited for the setting up of a plant that makes pellets of garbage and generates electricity by burning them. It has also been proposed to install automatic dimmers and switches, to turn the lights on and off at the appropriate times for streetlights as part of the drive to save power. Proposals for maternal and child welfare include the screening of pregnant women for gestational diabetes, providing ultrasound scan and video laparoscopic equipment in maternity clinics and providing cooking gas connections and stoves to anganwadis.

It has also been proposed to set up 40 additional Primary Health Centres (PHCs), to ensure one PHC per ward.

The Corporation hopes to standardise and set up new bus stops at 350 locations and utilise advertising space to generate revenue. It is also tying up with the Highways Department to provide escalators at foot over-bridges. Small bridges have been proposed across water channels in the city, including one linking Greams Road and Ethiraj Salai across the Cooum.

The Corporation proposes to auction its 800 public toilets to generate revenue for their maintenance. More mobile toilets will be procured to service government functions and public places. Efforts will be made to provide concrete roads in slums and prevent water stagnation in low-lying areas like Arumbakkam, Kolathur and Velachery, the Mayor promised.

Corporation schools have been allocated around Rs. 5 crore for a slew of proposals including the setting-up of open-air theatres, providing electronic equipment and Internet connections, annual day programmes and fire safety equipment.

Model primary schools will be chosen to implement the Montessori system. Annual scholarships ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2000 will be provided to the top 25 Corporation school students who join medicine or engineering or bachelor's courses in the sciences or arts.

Students of special classes will be given fruit and bread from November through March, spectacles and training in yogasana and meditation.

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