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Municipal Finance

Poor water deposit collection forces civic body to extend deadline

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The Hindu       20.11.2017  

Poor water deposit collection forces civic body to extend deadline

The Coimbatore Corporation recently extended to November 30 the deadline for paying revised water connection deposit charges. Sometime ago, the Corporation said it was extending the deadline to October 31.

The earlier deadline was September 30 and prior to that September 15.

Sources in the Corporation said that the civic body was forced to extend the deadline owing to poor response from the residents.

The Corporation had sometime ago asked residents in all the 100 wards to pay up the difference between their current deposit and Rs. 5,000 to make uniform the deposit at Rs. 5,000. But it had said it was applicable only to those residents who had availed of water connection prior to 2013.

It said those residents in the 60 wards that constituted the old city area had to pay around Rs. 4,000, those residents in wards that earlier fell under Vilankurichi Panchayat to pay an equal sum, those residents in wards that fell under the then Kalapatti Town Panchayat to pay Rs. 2,000, those residing in wards that fell under the then Veerakeralam Town Panchayat to also pay Rs. 2,000, those residing in wards that fell under the earlier Thudiyalur, Vellakinaru, Saravanampatty and Chinnavedampatty Town Panchayats to also pay Rs. 2,000, and others to pay the difference.

For commercial and industrial connection, the Corporation had similar demands, but with amount varying from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,000.

The Corporation had expected to generate over Rs. 50 crore from the exercise. But as on date, the collection was nearly Rs. 14 crore.

Corporation sources said now that the civic body had revised the deadline more than once, it would resort to other methods to urge the residents to pay the revised deposit charges. The methods would include reminders by way of public announcements and if necessary, coercive action like disconnecting water supply. They reasoned that the civic body was able to improve its water supply to added areas, almost on a par with the old city areas and that involved higher operation and maintenance charges. The residents therefore would have to pay for the water the Corporation supplied.

Among the five zones, the South Zone had the lowest collection of a little over Rs. 1 crore. The maximum collection was from the Central Zone at Rs. 3.82 crore followed by East Zone at Rs. 3.47 crore.


Coimbatore civic body grapples with funds crunch

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The Hindu         21.09.2017 

Coimbatore civic body grapples with funds crunch

The civic body is desperate for the funds to pay off contractors and meet its maintenance expenses.  

The Corporation yet to get central finance commission funds

The financially weakening civic body has just received a blow - it has not yet received the quarterly disbursement of central finance commission funds for the last quarter of last financial year and the first quarter of the current financial year.

Sources in the civic body said that the disbursement for two quarters was around Rs. 30 crore and this is a big blow as the total outstanding had reportedly crossed Rs. 250 crore.

Officials, however, said the Corporation’s finances were not worse.

Every year, the Central Government paid the Corporation and several other urban local bodies money under the ‘central finance commission’ head. The Corporation had been getting Rs. 60 crore a financial year, in four instalments of Rs. 15 crore each.

This time though the Government did not disburse the money saying it would not do so as there was no elected body - Corporation Council, the sources said that other urban local bodies in the State had suffered a similar fate.

For the Coimbatore Corporation this had come a big blow as the civic body was desperate for the funds to pay off contractors and meet its operation and maintenance expenses. As of September 2017, the total outstanding had crossed Rs. 250 crore, the sources said and added that the civic body owed the contractors who had completed work, manpower contractors who supplied workers, street light maintenance contractors and many others.

The last time the Corporation paid the contractors was sometime in January this year and that too it was a pittance - for contractors to whom it owned in crores of rupees the Corporation paid only a few lakhs, contractors said.

Officials not wanting to be named only confirmed this. They said the situation had turned from bad to worse. They pointed out that the situation was so bad that street light contractors were not repairing faulty lights as the civic body had not paid them for long.

The Corporation recently sacked 300 or so contract conservancy workers. Though the reason proffered was poor work, the truth was that the Corporation did not have money to engage them, the officials added.

Similarly, the Corporation was also yet to clear the dues for agencies that operated upon street dogs under the animal birth control programme. Sources in the know said the the Corporation had requested the agencies to not submit fresh bills until the pending ones were cleared.

The officials also said that even the recent water connection deposit revision and property reassessment exercises would not help the civic body escape the abyss as the money estimated to flow in to the coffers was far less than what was needed.

Senior officials, however, disputed the figures and statements and said the total outstanding was only around Rs. 150 crore. The recent revision exercises, coupled with grants expected from the State Government would help the Corporation. The turn around would happen soon and by the end of this calendar year the Corporation would be returning to good financial health.


Corporation to mobilise Rs. 60 cr from deposit revision

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The Hindu        12.09.2017  

Corporation to mobilise Rs. 60 cr from deposit revision

The Coimbatore Corporation hopes to mobilise Rs. 60 crore from its recent effort to hike the deposit to drinking water connections. The Corporation has said that those who had availed of water connections prior to October 1, 2013 should pay Rs. 4,000 or so if the connection was for their house, Rs. 7,000 or so if the connection was a bulk connection, the same amount if the connection was for commercial use and Rs. 12,000 for industrial use.

The Corporation says that it hopes to mobilise around Rs. 50 crore from those domestic connections that were in use prior to October 1, 2013. At present the Corporation has 1.83 lakh domestic connections.

Similarly, it hopes to raise Rs. 18.27 lakh from bulk connections, another Rs. 4.64 lakh from commercial and Rs. 78.45 lakh from industrial connections.

In all, the estimate is that the civic body would get around Rs. 60 crore.

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