Each resolution was read out and passed, says Mayor
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has alleged lack of democracy in the conduct of the meetings of the Coimbatore Corporation Council.
Citing the meeting held on July 30, district secretary of the party S.M. Velusamy and legislator from Perur S.P. Velumani have said in a statement that at least half of the total 72 councillors were critical of the pace of development works for underground sewers, drinking water supply, storm water drains and waste management.
Works for over Rs.3,000 crores (under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) were being carried out over the last four years, but their progress was very tardy.
But, the councillors of the AIADMK and others who shared their views on the works were not allowed to raise this issue in the Council.
If the councillors insisted on raising these, cases were foisted on them, the statement alleged.
It also accused the Mayor and others of passing resolutions without debating these.
They condemned the “all pass” method of disposing of subjects listed in the agenda.
Reacting to these charges, Mayor R. Venkatachalam said on Tuesday that each of the 23 resolutions in the agenda was read out at the July 30 meeting.
“We deferred one of the resolutions for discussion later. If the ‘all pass' method had been resorted to, the deferment of one resolution would not have happened,” he said.
Members belonging to the AIADMK, Communist parties and others such as the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam staged a walkout from the Council, condemning the Corporation on various issues. This happened during the Zero Hour.
As all the members of these Opposition parties had walked out, there was none left to raise issues. The resolutions were, therefore, taken up.
Those who staged the walkout returned after slogan shouting and meeting the media outside the Council. By that time almost all the resolutions had been covered one by one. These councillors objected to the passing of resolutions in their absence. “The Council cannot wait for them to return,” Mr. Venkatachalam asserted.
The AIADMK could not level charges of lack of democracy in the Council after Mr. Velumani having been given enough time to raise issues pertaining to the Corporation wards that came under his Perur Assembly Constituency, the Mayor said.
Mr. Velumani was given a patient hearing by all when he raised various issues pertaining to basic amenities and development works.
He was also assured that these issues would be looked into and solutions provided.
The AIADMK and the other parties should understand that walkout would not throw enough light on the issues they wanted to raise.
“We can debate each and every issue till midnight. So, where is the need for a walkout? Walkouts do not serve the purpose of meeting people's expectations.”
As for the pace of the development works under the infrastructure development mission, the Mayor said these were expedited only after the new Council took charge in 2006. Nothing moved when the AIADMK was in power, it was pointed out.
“The delay that they allege now is also because of their resistance to approving the schemes in the Council,” the Mayor contended.
“We took up with Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin the issue of funding after we assumed charge. He arranged for it through Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation we pointed out that World Bank funds flow would be slow,” he said.