The controversy over the “wrongly claimed” Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission projects of Kochi has taken a new turn with former Deputy Mayor C.K. Manisanskar joining issue with Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany.

Briefing the Kochi Corporation council meeting last week, Mr. Chammany had stated that the previous government managed to secure a few projects for Kochi after wrongly stating that land was acquired for some of the infrastructure projects. Those projects failed to take off for want of funds for acquiring land, he said.

According to Mr. Manisanskar, the Mayor was cheating the people of Kochi by not implementing the projects which the previous council had managed to “obtain through all means.”

The office of the Mayor should not be used for spreading lies and issuing comic statements. The Mayor should dedicate his time for perusing the files, studying the issues faced by the city and implementing projects. He should also abstain from using his office for fooling people, said Mr. Manisanskar.

It was during the term of the LDF-led council that the city got the projects for solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram, a drinking water project, low floor buses and housing projects for urban poor.

The new council could not take forward the projects that were initiated during the term of the previous administration. This had resulted in land acquisition proposals related to the projects getting expired, he said.

Mr. Manisanskar alleged that the civic administration had shunted out the efficient officials of the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project, which was implementing the Mission projects in Kochi, and officials close to the administration were brought in their place.

At the same time, Mr. Chammany maintained that the councillors had every right to know what transpired at the Mission meetings during the term of the previous government and the council.

“All that I did was brief the councillors about the developments that took place during the term of the previous council and that too by reading out from the agenda of the committee of the Mission which cleared the projects. No one can deny the people of Kochi and the councillors their right to know about what happened during the term of the previous government and the council,” Mr. Chammany said.

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