Mayor denies the charges
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA, R. Annadurai, has complained of rampant irregularities in the Madurai Corporation and has sought the intervention of the Chief Minister in this regard.
In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, last month, Mr. Annadurai has charged that the recent appointment of six Assistant Engineers was not done on the basis of merit. “The very fact that Deputy Commissioner, K. Sambhavi, who was one of three members who conducted the interview, had not signed (given her approval for the selection process) is an evidence,” the MLA, representing the Madurai South Assembly Constituency, said.
Denying the charges, Mayor V. V. Rajan Chellappa said that the signature of the Deputy Commissioner was not needed for appointing Assistant Engineers and the appointment was made purely on merit. “She has signed the marks that she had awarded the candidates during the selection process and the Commissioner is the ultimate authority for appointment,” he said. “If there were any irregularities, all the 12 posts would have been filled,” he said. The corporation would soon seek a list of eligible candidates from the District Employment office to fill up the remaining posts, he said and added that he had not received any complaint regarding the appointments.
The MLA also charged that the due process of calling for tender was not followed in awarding works for laying roads under the Rs. 25-crore Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project. Mr. Chellappa dismissed the allegation claiming that it was a baseless charge made by contractors who could not win the bid.
Mr. Annadurai also complained that the Corporation officials had dug up the storm water drainage channel in front of the Victoria Edward Hall along the West Veli Street and left it open to bring pressure upon the administration of the Hall.
The MLA recalled that the Corporation zonal chairperson (zone 1), K. Rajapandian had raked up this issue at the council meeting held in January. He wondered why the officials were not giving a proper reply as it was causing inconvenience to the public.
However, the Mayor said that the officials of Victoria Edward Hall had not obtained proper building plan approval for the commercial complex it had constructed.
“The storm water drainage was dug up to clear the blocks in it and it has not caused any inconvenience,” he said.
On the corporation waiving off property tax for a private mill in the city, the MLA said that he had also brought this to the notice of the Chief Minister as the amount waived was Rs. 24 crore out of the Rs. 28 crore property tax that had to be paid.