Pannerselvam, Tamilnadu CM
Chennai: chief minister O Pannerselvam today said at least 10 cities in Tamil Nadu were fully eligible to be declared as smart cities and urged the finance minister to make an appropriate announcement in the upcoming Union Budget.
Speaking at the state finance ministers meeting at Delhi, ahead of the Budget, Pannerselvam, who is also TN finance minister, said the Centre had announced the development of ‘100 Smart Cities’, with an outlay of Rs 7,060 cr in the Budget 2014- 15.
“We are yet to see any clear way forward on this. It is imperative that the proposed city should not only be smart in its design and plans for housing, utilities, etc, but should also be an enabler for technology driven service delivery and management of complex problems like solid waste management, waste water management, etc,” he said.
Cities in Tamil Nadu like Salem, Trichy, Thoothukudi, Cuddalore and Erode have the right credentials for consideration as smart cities apart from Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, he stated.
The state also sought assistance for the extension of Chennai Metro Rail Project, desalination plants, and river linkage programmes in the Budget.
The extension of Corridor-I of the metro project up to Thiruvottriyur and Wimco Nagar, covering a distance of 9.051 km at an estimated cost of Rs 3,253 crore, is pending for approval of the Centre.
The Centre should provide adequate financial support as promised earlier, by approving a 150-MLD desalination plant to Chennai city, proposed at a cost of Rs 1,371.86 crore, under the new Urban Renewal Mission or any other scheme in the forthcoming Budget, he said.
On the inter-linking of rivers, particularly of peninsular rivers, he said Tamil Nadu had been implementing projects for intra-state river linkage. Considerable progress has already been made in linking the Thamirabarani-Nambiyar rivers with state funds, as central funds were not forthcoming. The project for linking Cauvery, Vaigai and Gundar rivers at a cost of Rs 5,166 crore is pending for the central government’s approval.