‘Rights and privileges of civic body to be protected at all costs’
The Kochi Corporation is practising positive politics by joining hands with all agencies interested in the development of the city, said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.
Replying to the Opposition allegation in the council that several agencies were attempting to usurp the rights of the civic body, Mr. Chammany said that the rights and privileges of the civic body would be protected at any cost. The State government, legislators and MPs have come forward to support the civic body and the Kochi corporation is welcoming all such initiatives, he said.
The State government extended help to the civic body to set up a modern waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram on the request of the corporation council. The council had also passed a resolution urging the State government to set up the plant there. The legislators from the city are following up the projects announced by the State government for supporting the city administration including the cleaning of city canals, he said.
Raising the issue in the council, N. Anilkumar of the CPI (M) said that the corporation was being kept in the dark about the initiatives of various agencies including the State government. Sojan Antony of the CPI (M) wanted the Standing Committee chairpersons to assert the role of the administration in development projects
Mr. Chammany pointed out that the Water Resources Minister had declared that the major city canals will be deepened and cleaned. Edapally and Market canals are being cleaned up in the process. In all such initiatives, monitoring will be carried out by the Standing Committees of the corporation, he said.
The demand of the corporation for a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority for the Kochi Urban Agglomerate has been placed before the State Transport Minister. A Special Purpose Vehicle has to be formed for managing the transport system of Kochi, he said.
The allegation of the Congress councillor Leno Jacob that the CITU had encroached upon a building of the Kochi Corporation for setting up its office infuriated the CPI(M) members. The party councillors including P.S. Prakash, V.A. Srijith, K.N. Sunilkumar, M.P. Maheshkumar, N.A. Shafeek, P.R. Ranish and Sojan Antony rose in protest demanding an apology from Mr. Jacob. They stated that the rent was being promptly paid for the occupation of the building.
The CPI (M) leader in the council, K.J. Jacob, also demanded an apology from the Congress councillor and promised to produce the rent receipt before the council dispersed.
But Mr. Jacob refused to relent and stood by his allegation. He also declined to tender an apology.
Later, when the receipt was produced, it turned out to be the rent receipt for a comfort station. Mr. Chammany quickly pointed out that the occupation of a public toilet building for running the office of a trade union cannot be justified as the city lacked enough public toilets. Even though the rent was paid, it was marked in the receipt that rent was paid for the comfort station building. Hence, the corporation will look into the issue, he said.