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Corpn. has mega plans for solid waste management

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The Hindu       12.04.2017 

Corpn. has mega plans for solid waste management

Focus is on improving the area around Meenakshi temple

The civic body has rolled out mega plans for handling its ever increasing garbage, which currently revolved around 650 to 700 tonnes a day.

Roping in state-of-the-art technology from the country’s premier institution — IIT-Madras —, officials have planned to introduce “cycle-activated sludge technology,” with which recycling is possible to a great extent after treatment without affecting the environment.

Recently, technocrats, accompanied by the civic body’s engineers, visited the Avaniapuram and Sakkimangalam sites, near here, where segregation of waste is being done.

Suggesting transformation from the British instituted “French Drainage Treatment System,” the officials were told about the need for preserving the environment and lessen pollution. Right from modernisation of fleets to improvement of transfer station and compost yard figured in the discussions, officials said.

Presently, Madurai Corporation spends close to Rs. 40 lakh every month in lifting garbage from across the 100 wards.

Though the national average of per capita garbage generation is around 400 grams, the Madurai Corporation claims that it lifts 425 grams per person.

It deploys 2800 conservancy workers and transports garbage in 150 vehicles, including trucks, push carts and tri-cycles from different locations.

Speaking to The Hindu , Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri said that for segregation purpose, the Corporation had 32 acres of land on the outskirts, but considering the rise in population and newly added wards, an additional 119.27 acres of land had been identified.

After the Corporation expanded from 72 to 100 wards by adding extension areas, its jurisdiction too had expanded from 51.82 square kilometres to 147.99 square kilometres, he added.

Stakeholders’ support

With the Smart City project taking shape, focus is now on improving the area around the Meenakshi Temple. The civic body has planned to introduce not only eco-friendly toilets, but state-of-the-art technology in disposing garbage. “The dumper bins are to be placed underground, so that there is less scope for pollution. Only when the devotees and shopkeepers cooperate, the objective will be fulfilled,” he said.

Special squads would be deployed round-the-clock to clear garbage in and around the Meenakshi Temple.

The authorities were also examining extension of night cleaning to streets situated close to the temple (Avanimoola, Chithirai and Masi Streets) so that movement of garbage hauling trucks is minimum during daytime.

Central funds

While the Union government will provide Rs. 100 crore as first instalment towards Smart City project and an equal sum is expected from the State government before this end of this fiscal, the civic body is also looking for funds from the Centre for the sewer project to cover newly added areas, for which a proposal for Rs. 229.36 crore had been submitted. “The project is expected to be approved soon,” a senior official in the accounts section said.

Not without problems

A section of the conservancy workers employed on contract basis have threatened to go on strike if their demands are not fulfilled soon. According to union representatives, wage agreement with different types of workers had been violated and they also alleged that there were malpractices.

For instance, a worker who was to get Rs. 450 per day, was getting Rs. 325 only. Similarly, a woman conservancy worker said that Rs. 4500 was credited to her account per month against Rs. 7500. Another worker said that she had not got her wages for the last three months.

Corporation officials, however, said that they had taken action against the contractor concerned and claimed that the issue would be sorted out soon.


Corporation plans to collect user charges

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The Hindu      12.04.2017 

Corporation plans to collect user charges

Rates will be fixed according to property tax

City residents across the 100 Wards will soon have to shell out money every month to pay towards solid waste management.

Sources said that the corporation had not yet fixed the amount the residents would have to pay but was in the process of drafting the by-laws for the same.

The by-laws would form part of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 that the Union Government had framed recently.

Sources in the civic body said that the once it finalised the draft by-laws, the corporation would make it public inviting suggestions.

Thereafter it would obtain the State Government’s permission to publish the same in gazette for implementation.

The corporation’s move comes almost six years after it made a similar attempt to collect user charges under the the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

After spending around Rs. 100 crore for improving solid waste collection and management in the city, the corporation drafted by-laws for collecting user fee.

The by-laws said that the civic body would collect Rs. 10, Rs. 20 and Rs. 30 a month from houses based on the property tax.

The corporation, however, had to defer collection following opposition from Councillors.

To date, the corporation did not collect user charges.

Now the civic body was making a renewed effort, the sources said and added that this time it would do so.

MDMK’s State youth wing secretary V. Eswaran, who is fighting a case at the National Green Tribunal against the corporation, said that there was no necessity for the corporation to collect the charges. There was several other ways the corporation could raise money - the first being plugging wastages in waste collection.

The corporation would do well to also streamline the transport system for waste collection, where it was heavily losing money, he added.


Corpn. budget focusses on roads, drains and parks

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The Hindu       12.04.2017  

Corpn. budget focusses on roads, drains and parks

The Corporation’s total revenue is Rs. 5,578 crore  

Property tax rates unchanged; deficit is Rs. 102.56 crore

The Chennai Corporation on Tuesday released the Budget 2017-2018, which focuses on roads, stormwater drains, parks and streetlights, keeping property tax rates unchanged. The budget deficit in 2017-2018 is Rs. 102.56 crore. The deficit has been rising owing to the challenges in improving revenue from tax collection, a rise in capital expenditure and interest payment on borrowings. Tax rates have not changed since 1998.

According to budget estimates, the civic body would have a total revenue of Rs. 5,578 crore and a total expenditure of Rs. 5,680.56 crore in 2017-2018. Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan released the budget data online on Tuesday as the Model Code of Conduct has been lifted. According to budget estimates for 2017-2018, the Corporation will receive a loan amount of Rs. 735 crore from various funding agencies. The interest payment on loans has increased from Rs. 14 crore in 2014-2015 to Rs. 155.1 crore in 2017-2018.

The budget estimate for capital expenditure in 2017-2018 is Rs. 2,185.95 crore. Operation and maintenance charges for 2017-2018 will be Rs. 801.93 crore because of a large number of road cuts in various parts of the city. After completion of projects by agencies such as Metrowater, roads will be relaid by the Chennai Corporation at Rs. 666.52 crore.

Stormwater drains would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 930 crore, bridges at Rs. 75 crore, streetlights at Rs. 127 crore, buildings (hospitals/schools) at Rs. 120 crore and parks at Rs. 127 crore. The estimated revenue through property tax is Rs. 800 crore and profession tax is Rs. 350 crore.

Solid waste management

The civic body has earmarked Rs. 10 crore for preliminary work on a modern solid waste processing plant in Kodungaiyur. Swachh Bharat projects will be implemented at Rs. 11.97 crore. The civic body will receive a grant of Rs. 70 crore for Amma canteens and Amma drinking water projects in various parts of the city.

The expenses on salary for employees in 2017-2018 is estimated at Rs. 971.89 crore. The civic body will pay a pension of Rs. 341 crore.


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