At the budget discussion on Wednesday, brickbats flew thick and fast at the Kochi corporation’s ruling regime from the opposition for introducing, what they called, a short-sighted budget.
The councillors protested against the Monday’s budget by wearing black T-shirts and cycling from the Gandhi statue near Rajendra Maidan to the corporation office.
Opposition leader K.J. Jacob said the Budget was meaningless as the corporation had failed to roll out promises made in the last three budgets. He said the budget had also neglected schemes proposed to provide drinking water and key infrastructure projects like the Thammanam-Pulleppady road. He said the road projects the corporation hailed as successes were all managed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Opposition councillor K.N. Sunilkumar pointed out that the budget did not consider the housing needs of the disadvantaged groups of society. Councillor Shyamala S. Prabhu said the Budget had ignored the needs of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry areas. She said the slaughterhouse at Mattancherry continued to be in limbo. Councillor Mini Dileep said the Deputy Mayor had presented a popular Budget that included schemes such as community kitchens. She also welcomed the proposal to re-route buses to ease traffic blocks. Councillor Shiji Roy said the Budget had brought relief to over 200 residents of Rameswaram colony.
Mum’s the word
The Congress ‘I’ faction councillors of the corporation expressed their protest through silence during the Budget discussion. The councillors neither supported nor denounced the Budget during the discussion, following directions from senior leaders of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. The councillors had earlier protested against the Budget alleging that they had not been consulted before it was prepared.