Projects galore

Print edition : May 07, 2010

P. Umanath, District Collector. He is racing against time to have the city ready for the World Tamil Conference.-K. ANANTHAN

P. UMANATH, the Collector of Coimbatore district, has a demanding deadline to meet. With the Tamil Nadu government choosing Coimbatore as the venue of the World Classical Tamil Conference, which is to be held from June 23 to 27, he has set himself a scorching pace to get the city ready. The 40-acre (one acre is 0.4 hectare) trade fair complex of the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) at Peelamedu is being readied for the event.

Speaking to Frontline, Umanath said: Coimbatore will see three types of development in the next three months: (1) the infrastructure we are creating specifically for the conference, which will have long-term benefits; (2) big projects that are not conference-specific, although the government is developing them now; and (3) the high visibility Coimbatore will acquire across the globe, thanks to the conference.

The State government is investing heavily on improving connectivity within the city and of the city with other places. We are developing the internal roads, that is, improving the existing roads, at a cost of Rs.26 crore. Besides, we are developing new roads, which will provide vital links in Coimbatores traffic plan, at a cost of Rs.13.5 crore, Umanath said. The road that leads to the airport from Avinashi Road is being developed at an estimated cost of Rs.4 crore. Another Rs.6 crore will be used to develop the roads around the trade fair complex. About Rs.60 crore has been allotted to widen and improve the State highways that lead from Tiruppur, Perur, Marudamalai and other places to Coimbatore.

Another conference-specific project involves the erecting of 300 new bus shelters through a public-private partnership. An amount of Rs.25 crore has been allotted for this under the Urban Local Body Fund. These bus shelters will have advertisements on them and digital boards announcing the arrival of buses and indicating their routes. Footpaths will be laid on the 36-kilometre length of Tiruchi Road and Avinashi Road. Underground electricity cables are being laid in Tiruchi Road, Avinashi Road, and Kamarajar Road at a cost of Rs.56 crore.

A big project that is not related to the conference but will soon get under way is the widening of the Chengampalli-Walayar Road on National Highway 47 at an estimated cost of Rs.700 crore. The Tamil Nadu government announced in its recent Budget proposals that it would provide Rs.284 crore for a western bypass that will connect Mettupalayam Road with Palakkad Road. There are plans for an eastern bypass between Sulur and Mettupalayam, at an expenditure of Rs.600 crore.

A Tidel Park is coming up in the city at a cost of around Rs.300 crore and is expected to be opened soon.

Major schemes (under the Pilloor II scheme) to supply water to Coimbatore are being implemented, and they will cost the exchequer Rs.176 crore. The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board will construct tenements for slum-dwellers at a cost of Rs.160 crore.

This is the amount of investment the government will pour into Coimbatore in the next three years or so, Umanath said. Besides, about Rs.250 crore will be used to expand Coimbatores airport.

We are proud that our trade fair complex has been selected to be the conference venue, said K. Ilango, president, CODISSIA. It amounts to recognition of our vision in creating such a big and beautiful complex with our own money, he said. More facilities are being created inside the complex at an estimated cost of Rs.10 crore.

T.S. Subramanian

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