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Thiruvananthapuram corporation: Kazhakkoottam soon to become municipality Thiruvananthapuram corporation: Kazhakkoottam soon to become municipality

Jan-17-2015 | 0 Comments


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If deputy mayor G Happy Kumar was wondering how he should rephrase 'Electrical crematorium at Kazhakkoottam' in the upcoming budget, something which has transformed from a proposal to a peremptory remark in the last four budgets, he can now spare his thought and with a certain amount of remorse. In a way corporation has killed the goose that lays the golden egg. The civic body hardly took care of three zones which ensured hefty returns, a point noted as general reference by the bifurcation committee.

The bifurcation committee makes a valid point in its report submitted to the state government in 2014. It says that the people in wards that had earlier been panchayats and then added to corporation do not receive any benefit from corporation and there is an inequality that exists among the wards after delimitation in terms of development. It further notes that lack of development was one of the reasons why the government was forced to pluck wards from corporation and tag it as a municipality.

The inability of the corporation to set up even an electrical crematorium in the last four years testifies to the remarks of the committee. Although urbanization report by the town planning wing have pointed out that land is available for new development in the expanded peripheral areas and the major development trend is towards Kazhakkoottam, corporation could never stretch its projects beyond construction of byroads and laying new electrical lines for a place like Kazhakkoottam. Even the total allocation for these 12 wards during the last four year does not cross Rs 1.5 crore.

The committee relied on 12-point criteria to recommend Kazhakkoottam as a municipality which included potential for future air and rail development, presence of industry hubs, road connectivity and so on. Kazhakkoottam fitted into all criteria making it a perfect bet for the recommendation.

"Had corporation taken good care of added wards, this would not have happened. The very fact that a memorandum for a separate municipality arose from the fact that no development happened in a place that was teeming with prospects," a member of the bifurcation committee said.

Corporation also failed to take note of the draft master plan which gave ample suggestions regarding development of Kazhakkoottam in sections under demography, built up density and spatial distribution. The budget of 2013-14 saw a lone suggestion for all the added wards, laying electrical lines at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. A corporation official, however, downplayed the complaint. "The crying baby syndrome is common in case of added panchayats. They had to be given basic infrastructure before we proceeded to multi-crore projects," he said.

Past records show that the councillor had a hard time at Attipra trying to squeeze some funds for water connection and levelling of rock-strewn bylane at Attipra.

While the civic body finds itself at a loss taking care of a ward that mattered the most, the committee lists solid reasons for converting Kazhakkoottam into a municipality quoting from state urbanization report-2012 and considering other factors like population, nature of jobs and proximity to core city areas.

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