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Municipal Finance

Govt loses Rs 10 cr as quarrying rules are flouted

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The Times of India         16.08.2010

Govt loses Rs 10 cr as quarrying rules are flouted

CHENNAI: The state government has lost at least Rs 10 crore by giving away stone quarrying rights in Keerapakkam in the southern suburbs to a private company doing civic work for the Chennai Corporation and highways department absolutely free. What is more, the corporation issued a recommendation letter to the Kancheepuram collector to speed up clearance.

Roman Tarmat, the company, was given the contract to construct storm water drains in the
Central Buckingham canal water catchment areas like Mylapore and Royapettah for Rs 38 crore. Citing the requisition of the corporation, the Kancheepuram district collectorate has granted a lease to the company to mine 3.9 lakh tonnes of blue metal worth Rs 10 crore without his participation in any auction or tender.

Not only was the tender process not followed, the tonnage allotted to the miner was way above the requirement of less than 50,000 tonnes of blue metal. The district collector has given free' mining rights to the company, citing Rule 7 of the Tamil Nadu
Minor Minerals Rules 1959. What is left unsaid, however, is that the same rule says such rights can be given only if the products "are used solely for bonafide public purposes and not for sale or commercial profits." As the Rs 38 crore the company gets from the corporation for the storm water drain includes the cost of materials, it become a commercial deal for which it cannot seek exemption. While the company would be paying only a nominal seigniorage fees for the blue metal it quarries, procuring 3.9 lakh tonnes of the material from the open market would have cost the company nearly Rs 7 crore.

Though the company has also bagged another project for the highways department, there seems to be no system in place to ensure that the rest of the blue metal would be used only for public work.

government quarry operators are up in arms against the out-of-the-way contract. "For a small quantity of crushed blue metal, the company should not be allowed to mine blue metal worth crores of rupees. The government instead of generating revenue out of stone quarry, is losing its core revenue," said K Dhanasekar, president, Kancheepuram Stone Quarry Welfare Association.

Corporation maintained that there was nothing wrong in issuing the recommendation letter. "The communique to the district collector was only to speed up the work," said SV Mathiazhagan, superintending engineer, storm water drains. "It is a government policy to grant such lease when a government department come up with a requisition for their contractor," Kancheepuram collector Santosh K Misra told TOI.

About 33.5 km of new drains will be laid in the Central Buckingham Canal catchment areas, with the blue metal mined from Keerapakkam panchayat.

Roman Tarmat has brushed aside the allegations. "The district collector has granted the lease after ascertaining the pre-qualification for obtaining the lease under Rule 7. The raw material from the quarry will be used for specified public projects and will not be sold outside," said NV Natarajan, director, southern operations, Roman Tarmat.

Inflation hits civic body, expenses up Rs 10 cr

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Deccan Chronicle      30.06.2010

Inflation hits civic body, expenses up Rs 10 cr

June 30th, 2010

June 29: It is not only middle class families and working professionals who are suffering from inflation and price rise. Chennai Corporation has been hit by the spurt in prices, with high input costs and implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations causing a huge dent in the finances of the civic body.

According to official sources, the corporation requires about Rs 1.25 crore per day to pay wages to its staff and to maintain the city clean and tidy. On the other hand the civic body’s average income through tax is about Rs 1.5 crore per day. This leaves the civic body with little money to implement crucial infrastructure projects and is forcing its financial managers to work overtime to ensure that populist schemes like free gold rings for children with Tamil names and scholarships and cash awards for meritorious corporation school children are not affected.

“After expansion of the corporation’s limits, several mud roads have to be re-laid with tar and new infrastructures like bridges, causeways, storm water drains and streetlights have to be put up in the neglected suburbs,” explained a corporation official. “There is requirement for a huge sum of money and the present revenue or even revenue to be generated from the suburbs will not suffice.”

The official pointed out that the fuel price hike and input cost will cost an additional expenditure of about Rs 10 crore per annum. According to revenue department sources, besides the routine road relaying and drain constructions, city corporation is also facing the Herculean task of collecting over Rs 300 crore from major property owners who have been evading payment of property tax to the civic body for last many years.


Tiruchi gets Rs.6.81 cr. under infrastructure fund

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The Hindu 21.12.2009

Tiruchi gets Rs.6.81 cr. under infrastructure fund

Special Correspondent

Corporation plans to strengthen important drainage channels


Three new blocks of residential quarters for sanitary workers planned

New drainage channel to be built along

Nelson Road in Srirangam

TIRUCHI: The Corporation has received an allocation of Rs.6.81 crore from the government under the Infrastructure Gap Filling Fund for 2009-10.

The civic body has planned to strengthen and fortify some of the important drainage channels in the city to prevent floods in the low-lying areas and also rebuild a few drainages along arterial roads. This apart, three new blocks of residential quarters for sanitary workers would be built utilising the funds.

The Corporation would spend about Rs.75 lakh for strengthening the Kollankulam channel, which serves as an important drain from the Kollankulam tank in Edamalaipattipudur. The overflow of the tank often results in the flooding of low-lying colonies in Edamalaipattipudur and Karumandapam areas.

The civic body has also set aside Rs.50 lakh each for taking up flood prevention works along the Kathan Vaical at Ammaiyappa Nagar and Thillai Nagar Rettai Vaical. Though both the channels were being desilted periodically, there have been persistent demands to put in place permanent repairs to ensure that the drains were able to carry the rainwater flow at times of monsoon. The Corporation would spend another Rs.50 lakh for flood prevention works in Jothi Nagar and Srinivasa Nagar in Ariyamangalam, two other flood-prone areas.

This apart, the Corporation would rebuild drainage channels along the East Boulevard Road, between the Gandhi Market and the Maharani Theatre at an estimated cost of Rs.70 lakh and from Bharathi Nagar to the level crossing on the same road, at an estimate of Rs.56 lakh. A new drainage channel would be built along the Nelson Road in Srirangam at a cost of Rs.25 lakh. The Corporation would spend two jet rodders at a cost of Rs.55 lakh for clearing blockades in the underground sewer system utilising the allocation, officials said.

Three blocks of residential quarters for sanitary workers, each with 12 units, would be built at a cost of Rs.66 lakh each at Poosari Street. About Rs.52 lakh would be spent for improving amenities at the sanitary workers quarters at the Poosari Street, which would include construction of a community centre and storm water drains.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 December 2009 02:38

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