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Corporation plans to collect deposits for water scheme

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI, JAN. 18. The Tirunelveli Corporation, struggling even to repair damaged roads due to paucity of funds, has proposed to collect deposits from residents under the Thatchanallur zone for implementation of a new drinking water scheme to improve supply of protected drinking water.

On behalf of the Corporation, the Tamilnadu Water And Drainage Board is now drawing up a plan for this scheme on an outlay of Rs. 6.50 crores, which will be shortly sent to the Commissioner for Municipal Administration for his approval. However, the Corporation administration will find itself in a piquant situation to mobilise funds for this massive drinking water scheme, as its earlier financial commitments are so high.

Since the Corporation has to run from pillar to post to meet its monthly expenditure such as salaries, electricity bills, fuel and maintenance of vehicles etc., the administration has to look for alternative sources for financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 19 crores for its ongoing underground drainage programme.

Apart from this obligation, the roads damaged during the digging of channels for the underground drainage scheme have to be re-laid on an outlay of Rs. 25 crores while the V.M. Chathram Combined Drinking Water Scheme, formulated to supply the rapidly developing KTC Nagar, V.M. Chathram and neighbouring areas, need another Rs. 3 crores.

"As there is only little scope for accruing internal resources for these projects, they have to be implemented only with hefty borrowings from various financial institutions.

And hence we have decided to collect Rs. 5,000 as deposit for domestic connections in Thatchanallur zone while business establishments will have to shell out Rs. 10,000.

The monthly water tax has been fixed at Rs. 80 and Rs. 200 for domestic and commercial water connections respectively," said a Tirunelveli Corporation official.

The proposals would be placed before the council, when it meets on January 24 for its approval.

When the Corporation authorities contacted the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund, Chennai, for financial assistance for the scheme recently, the TNUDF had reportedly come forward to lend a helping hand with an attractive subsidy of 30 per cent (Rs. 1.95 crore as subsidy of the total investment of Rs. 6.50 crores) as more than 50 per cent of the beneficiaries are poor slum dwellers.

"Hopefully, we'll get timely assistance from Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund for the drinking water scheme, but the tough task before us would be pacifying a group of councillors, who would demand the downward revision of the proposed deposits," said the official.

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