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Corpn.’s lake cleaning expenditure questioned

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The Hindu         20.11.2017 

Corpn.’s lake cleaning expenditure questioned

Coimbatore Corporation’s expenditure to clean a few tanks in the city has caused consternation among a few activists, who have questioned its rationale.

Right to Information activist J. Daniel has unearthed through the Right to Information Act that the civic body had spent Rs. 2.30 crore between May and August 2015 to remove water hyacinth in Valangulam, Kurichi, Singanallur, Krishnampathy and Selvampathy tanks.

Why should the civic body spend such a huge amount when it could completed the very task by roping in non-government organisations and volunteers who were into lake conservation. Alternatively, the Corporation could have bought the heavy machinery, whose cost would not exceed Rs. 1 crore, and save the cost of hiring the machine.

The move to buy the heavy machinery would have been a prudent move as the civic body was the custodian of the lakes for another 90-odd years, as it had taken on lease those from the Public Works Department.

Mr. Daniel also said that the Corporation giving the tank cleaning contract to only two agencies also raised a needle of suspicion. At a time when the civic body’s finances were not healthy, it would do well to show fiscal prudence, he added.

Officials in the Corporation maintained that the move to clean the tanks was as per rules and payments were made as per procedures.

There was no irregularity in those and if at all any was pointed out, the civic body would look into those.