The industry and trade leaders in the city say that the Corporation budget is a non-event because almost all the projects which will be announced in the budget will be confined to the paper.
For the past few years this has been the situation, they lament. The key issues faced by Kochi are known to everyone, there are also project proposals, but none of the projects take off.
In its letter to Deputy Mayor B Bhadra mentioning proposals for Corporation budget 2013-14, the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry had brought to her notice the non-implementation of projects. Though some discussions were initiated, many of the last year’s budget proposals are yet to be finalised and implemented, the letter said.
“The Corporation budget is a non-event now as most of the proposals are not going to be realised. As a ritual, every year the Chamber gives proposals about possible projects in Kochi knowing that nothing is going to happen. The lack of political will is the major reason behind the non-implementation. Our major concern this time too is about the infrastructure facilities which have to be improved on a war-footing,” said K N Marzook, chairman of Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The major proposals from KCCI are North-South Corridor Road (starting from South Railway Station and ending near North Town Hall parallel to the Chittoor Road), immediate commissioning of Atlantis and Pachalam ROBs and the clearing of traffic block at the entry of Thammanam Pulleppady Road to MG Road.
Marzook pointed out that though the fund was allotted to various projects the Corporation has not moved a finger to make various projects a reality.
Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded projects that will provide better connectivity to Fort Kochi and Mattanchery regions.
“Proper metred system and prepaid auto stands in taxis and autos at major points in West Kochi areas like Mattanchery boat jetty, Fort Kochi are our concerns. Improper sewage drainage in West Kochi has to be addressed. Slaughter house at Mattanchery has to be made hi-tech and waste treatment plant has to be installed,” Nishesh Shah, ICCI president, said.
Venkitesh Pai, President, Kerala Merchants Union said that there should be a plan for the time bound implementation of projects announced in the corporation budget.
“Sincerely we don’t expect anything better from the budget as we are aware that all the projects will remain on paper. ” he said.
P C Jacob, general secretary of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti-Ernakulam district, said that concrete proposals are expected in the budget to address the issue of eviction on a futuristic manner.