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The urban sector received considerable attention in the Tamil Nadu budget presented by finance minister Palanivel Thiyagarajan on March 18. Among the major announcements finance minister Palanivel Thiyagarajan made in the 2022-23 budget was Rs 500 crore for Singara Chennai 2.0. The money would go into improvements to civic infrastructure. Inmathi.com had outlined thrust areas for Singara Chennai 2.0.

Some Rs 5,370 crore will be spent on e-bus and other improvements to buses in state-owned undertakings.

Making civic infrastructure disabled-friendly is an action area for the Tamil Nadu budget. Some Rs 830 crore has been allocated for welfare of the disabled but this is normally in the nature of a cross-sectoral allocation and will be dovetailed with other schemes such as the urban renovation scheme. The question is how they will apportion the money so that the new civic infrastructure coming up in disabled-friendly.

The AIADMK government had moved ahead with biomining at Kodungaiyur dumpyard. PTR mentioned it in the budget and said it will continue. As the garbage volume piles up every day, biomining should help in reducing it. This is still segregation at the garbage dumpyard rather than at the source as required by law. Metal, glass and plastic will be separated and what is of value will be recovered. The rest will presumably be incinerated.

Another significant announcement was Rs 3,700 crore for the PMAY housing scheme. This should serve to increase housing for the poor. Another Rs 2,700 crore has been allocated for projects that involve groundwater recharging, rainwater harvesting and so on.

Phase 2 of the Outer Ring Road had been given for public use in 2021. This 62 km long road connecting GST Road near Perungalathur to Minjur has been identified as having potential for high growth by consultants. The budget talked about a development corridor along the road and increasing FSI facilitating high rises. Whether the government will benefit from this directly is a question.

The budget revisited the stalled Port-Maduravoyal road. It talked about Rs 5,700 crore being allocated for it. The project is lying half finished with the then CM Jayalalithaa declaring her opposition to a high volume, heavy movement inside the city. The NHAI project will involve MOUs with the port and other agencies. The TN government has indicated that it is reversing course and will help the project achieve completion.

Another significant announcement was Rs 3,700 crore for the PMAY housing scheme. This should serve to increase housing for the poor. Another Rs 2,700 crore has been allocated for projects that involve groundwater recharging, rainwater harvesting and so on.

The Tamil Nadu budget announced that six laning of ECR will continue in the Neelangarai, Sholinganallur stretch also. Since there are limits to expanding towards the sea, six laning may involve land acquisition on the stretches that are heavily built up. PTR expressed hope that the stretch after Mamallapuram will be seamlessly handed over to NHAI and problems will be solved.


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