LDF-led Opposition has demanded a probe by the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau against the Works Standing Committee chairperson Soumini Jain for allegedly causing financial loss to the corporation

Stormy days lie ahead for the civic administrators of Kochi Corporation with the opposition raising corruption charges against one of its chairpersons.

In its latest attack, the LDF-led Opposition has demanded a probe by the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau against the Works Standing Committee chairperson Soumini Jain for allegedly causing financial loss to the corporation.

The opposition had earlier demanded the resignation of Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany and Town Planning Standing Committee chairman K.J. Sohan following an inquiry order by the Thrissur Vigilance court.

The allegation against Ms. Soumini was that she arbitrarily gave permissions for road restoration works without obtaining the clearance from the Works Standing Committee.

K.N. Sunilkumar, LDF Parliamentary party secretary and a member of the Works Committee, said the chairperson kept the committee in the dark regarding the applications for trenching the roads and road restoration works. No files and applications regarding the road restoration had reached the committee in the past two years.

However, entries were made in the minutes of the committee stating that the files were cleared by the committee, Mr. Sunilkumar said.

The report regarding the charges will be prepared by an overseer of the corporation on applications received by the civic body.

The original recommendation regarding the suggested restoration costs and the actual payments made by the parties should be compared to assess the possible loss, he said. Mr. Sunilkumar also said that he had obtained details of 36 files regarding road restoration and none of them were placed before the committee.

K.J. Jacob, the leader of the CPI (M) in the council, said the opposition would raise the issue in the council meetings. Though the opposition had not decided on directly approaching the Vigilance court, it may consider the option later, he said.

Denying the allegations, Ms. Jain said she was following the procedures laid down by the previous councils on the issue. All the permissions were issued after placing the files before the committee, she claimed.

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