Chennai: Model code of conduct in RK Nagar and the absence of an elected council without a mayor had made the Chennai corporation budget, a damp squib this fiscal. Departmentwise budget papers have been tabled and there are no major infra development projects in Chennai, a corporation official confirmed to Deccan Chronicle. However, the respite is that no new tax will be imposed this year and the same property tax rates are to continue for the existing property taxpayers in Chennai.
In the case of Chennai, the corporation cannot announce any new projects, unlike the earlier years. Further, the budget presentation receives fanfare only when there is an elected council in place. As per the election commission norms, special officer and corporation commissioner D. Karthikeyan passed the budget for 2017-2018 without making any new announcements on infrastructure development and welfare projects.
“We have passed the budget last week, but we are not releasing the information on welfare measures due to the model code of conduct,” a senior corporation official said.
Similarly, the special officers now heading the local bodies across the state have also started tabling the budget presentations to their respective revenue and council departments with the last week of March as their deadline. According to budget estimates, the civic body is expected to spend more on stormwater drains and road widening during fiscal 2017-18.
“The absence of a civic budget is a disappointment. The corporation should address the growing traffic menace in Chennai. The corporation should construct new flyovers and also widen the existing congested roads”, said civic activist Aarani Sreenivasan.