The Tamilnadu Budget tabled by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam has a lot of goodies for Chennai. Important among them is an allocation of Rs 2,000 crore for comprehensive parking management project in Chennai city. It will have underground parking facilities, multi-level parking facilities and on-lane smart parking to accommodate two lakh four-wheelers and an equal number of two-wheelers. Traffic congestion is a cause for concern for people living here. Coming up with parking facilities will prevent haphazard parking on the roadsides and ensure free and smooth flow of traffic.
Another interesting announcement is about Chennai Metro Rail. The Finance Minister said the Phase-I of the project covering two corridors running to 45 km will be fully commissioned by this month while its extension was expected to be on stream next June. Feasibility study was being taken up for the extension of Metro rail line from Meenambakkam Airport to Kilambakkam metro bus terminus in the southern suburbs. Also the government’s decision to procure 2,000 new electric buses, besides 12,000 new BS-VI vehicles, at an outlay of Rs 5,890 crore with KfW loan assistance, is commendable. The government will introduce 2,000 BS-VI buses in the state, besides rolling out 500 electric vehicles in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, in the first phase.
With election around the corner, the State government has not yielded to any pressure to come out with doles. The Budget aims at giving an impetus to development works in the State. The Finance Minister’s announcement that the number of retail Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) shops run by Tamil Nadu Marketing State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has been reduced from 7,896 to 5,198 should win them more cheers.