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₹1,120 crore allotted for the holistic development of the city

The Corporation, which was selected as one of the 100 ‘Smart Cities’ in the country only in the second round, has climbed-up the ranking ladder to reach the 16th position in the entire country following the recently conducted third phase of assessment of the progress achieved so far on the projects getting executed under the scheme being implemented by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

When the Union Government’s first list of ‘Smart City’ was released, Tirunelveli was not included, much to the disappointment of the officials and the residents here. However, the disappointment was only short-lived as the ‘Halwa City’, considering its potential, was hand-picked for executing the ambitious development programme in the second round of selection.

The Corporation, under the ₹1,120 crore scheme designed for the holistic development of the city, has proposed to construct a trade centre at the Exhibition Ground opposite the Corporation’s administrative office, reconstruct the Tirunelveli Junction bus-stand, create a truck terminal at Pettai and execution of second and third phase of the underground drainage scheme to save the Tamirabharani, the drinking water source, from getting polluted.

Since the southern districts of Kanniyakumari, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar, all fall under the ‘influence area’ around the upcoming project (influence area up to 100 Km), do not have a spacious hall for organising conventions or expositions though they house good number of industries, the Corporation has proposed to construct the trade centre on the 7.44-acre Exhibition Grounds on an outlay of ₹56.71 crore under the ‘Smart City’ programme. Physical work of this project is to commence shortly.

Another whopping outlay of ₹79 crore has been earmarked for recreating the 62-year-old Tirunelveli junction bus-stand with modern amenities. Since the Corporation has proposed to construct an ultra-modern bus-stand at Tirunelveli Junction under the ‘Smart City’ programme, the existing dingy structure has been removed. Besides having basement parking to accommodate over 106 cars and 1,629 bikes, the new bus terminus will have 27 bays and 144 shops in the ground plus three floor shopping mall. The new bus-stand, which is expected to generate annual net revenue of Rs. 1.87 crore after expenditures, will be completed within 18 months.

The second and third phases of the underground drainage project are to be completed on an outlay of ₹490 crore and work on both the phases has already commenced.

As the entry of heavy vehicles proceeding to destinations in neighbouring Kerala from Thoothukudi and the trucks from Madurai to Nagercoil have to cross Tirunelveli in the absence of ring road on the western side of the city, a truck terminal has been planned at Pettai to avert traffic congestion.

Besides these projects, the Corporation has planned to earmark sufficient funds for modernising drinking water distribution, traffic regulation, streetlights, roads, technology-based infrastructure development etc.

As the Corporation, led by Corporation Commissioner (In-Charge) V. Narayanan Nair, showed remarkable progress in translating all these proposals into action by finalising tenders and commencing physical works on these ambitious projects, Tirunelveli City, which stood at 78th rank, has climbed up to reach the 16th place in the entire country while Tirupur and Vellore have bagged the 5th and the 11th spots in the latest all-India ranking of ‘Smart Cities’.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): P Sudhakar

Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 02.03.2019

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