Date:28/04/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/04/28/stories/2008042855040300.htm
Tamil Nadu – Coimbatore
Opposition to Corporation plan for city expansion
COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation’s plan for expanding the city area will be a retrograde measure as it will rob smaller local bodies such as panchayats of their powers for local self-governance, former legislator and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Coimbatore North District president M. Chinnarasu has said.
Referring to reports of the Corporation’s plan, Mr. Chinnarasu said in press release that it was improper to persuade municipalities, town panchayats and village panchayats to merge with the Corporation by telling them that they would get more funds for development if they were a part of a city corporation.
Schemes had been introduced by the erstwhile Vajpayee Government at the Centre (1999-2004) to facilitate greater flow of funds to panchayats for development. When such an opportunity for development was available for these local bodies, there was no need to lure them to join the Corporation, the statement said.
A merger with the Corporation was fraught with the risk of a huge financial burden for the people in the other local bodies.
The Corporation has embarked upon implementing infrastructure development schemes at Rs.3,186 crore under the Central Government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The Corporation was already in a position where it needed to impose huge taxes on the people, in order to repay the loans it had availed itself of for many schemes. It was also faced with the task of mobilising funds for more schemes.
On the Corporation’s promise of development in the suburbs, the statement alleged that the schemes under the mission were only being talked about and that there was no sign of implementation.
In village panchayats, the elected members were extremely familiar with the problems faced by individual residents. But, the Corporation remained out of bounds for many people.
The Corporation was yet to solve the problems faced by people in the newly regularised layouts. Besides, it had not yet found a solution to the problem of scarcity of drinking water.
When this was the case with the city, how could the Corporation solve problems faced by the suburbs, Mr. Chinnarasu asked