By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 12, 2012:
CHENNAI: The Corporation’s annual budget, to be unveiled on Monday at Ripon Building, will be an acid test for the AIADMK, as the party which romped home in the historic council with a brute majority, has to roll out its vision for the development of the civic body.According to sources, the 2012-13 budget, which is the first after Corporation’s expansion in October last, is likely to give more thrust to education and infrastructure. Though the civic body is likely to unveil several schemes for the education sector in the budget, there are strong rumours that the new AIADMK administration is mulling to hike property tax for commercial buildings to meet its increasing expenditure.On Monday, chairman of the Chennai Corporation’s standing committee on taxation and finance K Santhanam will present the budget and Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy will commence the session with inaugural remarks. As per tradition, the Mayor would unveil the schemes proposed for the financial year and he has the privilege to add more schemes (if necessary) at the end of the discussion.Besides, the budget will focus on additional funds for infrastructure development in expanded areas of the Corporation and strengthening the educational institutions and primary health centres maintained by it.The civic body is likely to announce its plan to construct new flyovers in the city limits, as several recently added areas lack mechanism to reduce road congestion.Speaking to Express about the budget, a senior member of the council said the residents of Thiruvotriyur, Manali, Nolambur, Madhavaram and Maduravoyal are looking forward to infrastructure development projects in their neighborhood, which was recently annexed to the city Corporation limit.
“The basic problem faced by the civic body is acute shortage of conservancy staff. Any decision or announcement on adding workforce and deployment of more men and machine in the recently annexed areas will improve the importance of the budget for the residents from suburban areas,” he opined.