Admitting that the state and Central fund allocation to tier-II cities is just around Rs 520 crore for the fiscal 2016-17, an official explained that there is a need for mayors to represent their city with the centre so that they can bring in more funds and central schemes. Tamil Nadu’s overall state financial resources are around Rs 9,755 crore and this caters 664 local bodies and this is not sufficient for a developed state like Tamil Nadu where more than 55 per cent is urbanised.
However, another official who has worked with the Chennai corporation said that to make the cities clean and to develop the local bodies in rural local bodies there is no need for councillors.
“There are 12,820 posts of councillors and with the state not having the elected council for the past one year the state till now would have easily saved more than Rs 50 crore. Council meet expenditure, sitting fees with heavy lunch and operation costs of councillor offices is all savings, the official added.
“New flyovers, integrated drinking water projects and construction of new parks have taken a hit since 2016 and with the absence of a council, the developments and the issues related to local bodies have been suppressed by the state for the past one year”, said Thiruvika Nagar legislator Thayagam Kavi. “No new flyover has been constructed in Chennai and traffic congestion is an issue across the city. Sanitation and waste management has not improved in north Chennai.
Whether it is corruption or good governance it comes out in public only when there is an elected body. The adverse issue related to administration is now brushed under carpet”, the MLA added.