In just around five minutes, the Coimbatore Corporation Council passed 13 resolutions related to infrastructure development, leasing of public utility spaces and the procuring of mobile toilets, amid a protest by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam over a project for houses for slum dwellers.
When the Council's urgent meeting began at 4 p.m., the AIADMK members, led by P. Rajkumar, insisted that the recent sinking of a multi-storeyed tenement at Ammankulam in the city be discussed first.
Having clarified on earlier occasions that only the subjects listed in the agenda for an urgent meeting could be discussed, Mayor R. Venkatachalam asked Floor Leader of the Congress R.S. Thirumugham to read out the subjects in the agenda.
The AIADMK councillors, joined by a Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member and an Independent member, raised slogans against the Mayor and demanded his and the Deputy Mayor's resignation over the tenement's sinking.
Even as this protest was on, the resolutions were read out and passed. The Mayor then quickly asked Leader of the Opposition V.N. Udayakumar to propose a vote of thanks to end the meeting.
On his way out of the Council, the Mayor asked presspersons: “How can these councillors demand my resignation and that of the Deputy Mayor for the sinking of a building constructed by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and not the Corporation?”
Outside the Council, Mr. Rajkumar, Communist Party of India (CPI) member K. Purushothaman and a few other Opposition councillors said the Ammankulam incident was relevant to the Corporation also because the civic body was embarking on a project for similar tenements on the erstwhile sewage farm at Ukkadam.
Referring to the demand for a special meeting on this issue, made on Thursday by the AIADMK, CPI, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, the members said they wanted to discuss the demand in the Council.
The Mayor said he had already told the parties that their demand would be considered. “So, where is the need to raise this issue in the Council again,” he asked.
The Council approved a project to lay a 60 ft scheme road from Avanashi Road to the CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex, the venue for the World Classical Tamil Conference in June. The cost of the two-lane road was estimated at Rs.1.59 crore. Street lights would be provided on the median at Rs.25 lakh.
The Council also approved another proposal for appointing 315 workers on contract for carrying out conservancy work at the conference venue and other areas in the city.
Another proposal cleared was the purchase of 60 mobile toilets that would be placed at the conference venue, the route of the conference-related rally and at some other places.
Keywords: World Tamil meet