The Kochi Corporation Council on Tuesday approved the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
If the District Planning Committee (DPC) directed the corporation to revise the budget after incorporating approved People’s Plan projects, the council would consider the matter, Mayor M. Anilkumar said.
The opposition had written a letter to the DPC seeking a revision of the budget as projects under the People’s Plan for the next financial year were included in the budget without the prior approval of the DPC and Council. DPC’s response is awaited.
Some were added to the budget for the demands made by the opposition. Councilors in opposition demanded on Monday that additional funds be made available for each division, with deputy mayor KA Ansia announcing at a council meeting held on Tuesday that in each division in1 crore would be made available for work. These projects for different divisions will be constructed by the Working Committee before the tender process begins.
The opposition also insisted on a boycott of any project for the Kokers theater in the budget. The opposition said that the prime land at Fort Kochi was lost in the jungle since no attempt was made to use the Koksar theater property. Ms Ansia announced that ₹ 50 lakh would be earmarked for work in the Kokers theater building and campus with assistance from the state government.
An amount of ₹ 1 crore has been allocated for work around the Fort Kochi beach, including the maintenance of the beach, and the preparation of a specific project to deal with area issues including waste management, and installing toilets. The beach was mentioned in the budget presentation but left a specific blank when announcing the allocation.
Explaining the financial condition of the corporation, Mayor M. Anilkumar said that the plan fund allocation fell this year as the corporation was required to pay the land acquired at Brahmapuram when the dumping yard was formed. The state government paid to acquire the land. But the property was registered with the corporation and required a civil agency to return the amount to the government. This amount was being deducted from the scheme fund. He said that about Rs 69 crore was received last year as a grant from the 14th Finance Commission, but this year the allocation has not yet been made.
After expressing doubt over the promises made by the councilors in the budget suggesting housing for more people, Mr. Anilkumar said that the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) agreed to hand over about 2 acres in his possession to the corporation for housing projects Was expressed.