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Updated: December 16, 2013 11:47 IST

Former Mayor defends government statement on JNNURM projects

Special Correspondent
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Mercy Williams
The Hindu
Mercy Williams

The State government might have acted in good faith in communicating to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) that land had been acquired for the Kochi projects, said Mercy Williams, former Kochi Mayor.

Ms. Williams was serving as the Kochi Mayor while JNNURM projects were sanctioned for the city.

Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany stated on Thursday at the Kochi Corporation Council meeting that the previous State government had misled the Mission authorities that land had been acquired for the Kochi infrastructure projects including the Pachalam Rail Over Bridge.

According to Ms. Williams, the local body had not communicated any such decision to the Mission authorities. The reported communication might have been made from the government level. Discussions and decisions on such issues are taken at the State-level sanctioning committee of the Mission, she said.

While making the statement, the government might have acted in good faith for protecting public interest. It might be for the public good and securing projects for the city and not for furthering any private interests that then State government took such a position, she said.

Considering the public interest involved in the decision, one cannot say that the State had committed any wrong as the decision might have been taken for a social cause.

Unlike in other States where the Mission projects are implemented, land is scarce in Kerala. The Mission authorities should take note of the State-specific situation, she said.

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