An all-party meeting of the Coimbatore Corporation on Tuesday wanted the civic body’s budget for the next financial year to list the infrastructure development schemes for the city. The budget should reflect a spirit to implement all the schemes, than merely being a case of old wine in a new bottle, they said.
The meeting was convened by Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra to elicit the view of the leaders of the parties in the Corporation Council on what the budget should contain for the development of the city. According to councillors who took part in the meeting, they wanted the budget to mention clearly the funding pattern for the schemes to be implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The budget must specify the cost of each project, the grants from the Government, the Corporation’s share of the cost and the interest on loans, they said.
The councillors said Vacant Land Tax, Profession Tax and the user charges for underground sewers could be discussed and finalised in the Council. The Opposition parties were opposing the charges, saying these would put a huge financial burden on the people. When the work on the scheme itself had not taken off fully, there was no need to discuss the user charges now, they said. An official said the councillors wanted more funds allocated for development works in the newly regularised layouts and also for the construction of houses for slum dwellers under the Basic Services for Urban Poor project.
The leaders of the parties also called for the creation of good sports and recreation facilities in the city. They also wanted to know why works to construct subways at Gandhipuram, the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital and Ukkadam had not begun despite the proposals for these having been made some years ago. According to the councillors, the Commissioner told them that the Hyderabad model of public-private partnership could be examined to implement the subways project. The meeting also discussed the scheme to construct a modern Council hall.