Focus on poor quality of drinking water, mosquito menace

Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa had to face more complaints at the council meeting held here on Wednesday that marked his completion of one year in office.

Besides the rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors and one of the zonal chairpersons, M. Rajapandian of the AIADMK, who were critical of the Mayor, many councillors of the ruling party complained about mixing of sewage with drinking water and mosquito menace. The DMK councillors, who had come to the meeting sporting black shirts, took objection to a resolution moved by the Mayor that criticised the previous DMK regime in the State for the poor power situation in the State. It eulogised the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for approaching the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre for providing additional power to Tamil Nadu and for her efforts to make Tamil Nadu a power-excess State by 2013. Even as the DMK members, led by its leader, M.L. Raj, were on their feet, the AIADMK members retaliated resulting in total chaos. Later, as the attempt of council watch and ward staff failed to evict the DMK councillors, as per the Mayor’s order, the police entered the council and took them out.

Mr. Raj complained that the Mayor was criticising the DMK Government that used to effect power cut only for a couple of hours, whereas he showered encomiums on the Jayalalithaa Government during which the power cut last for as long as 16 hours.

Later, the zonal chairperson, Rajapandian, kept on heaping complaints against the Mayor for not taking action against contractors belonging to DMK and a DMK councillor who a ran shop without Corporation licence. Even as the Mayor promised that action would be taken against the wrong-doers, Mr. Rajapandian started asking as to why shops in Arapalayam bus stand were allotted to DMK councillors and not to AIADMK councillors.

He clarified that the shops were allotted only to the successful bidders through auction, he said.

Another chairperson, P. Salaimuthu, expressed concern that despite having plentiful storage of water in Vaigai dam, main source of water supply to the city, people in many parts had to rely on packaged drinking water because of mixing of sewage in piped water supply. Replying to him, Mr. Chellappa directed the officials to form an expert team to study the problem. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) member, M. Chellam, joined Mr. Salamuthu, in demanding a rollback of the proposed increase of water charges. The Mayor said that the hike would be reconsidered.

A ruling party councillor, K. Muthukaruppan, said that the 40 years of fame he had earned in his public life was ruined in his first-year period of member in the council. His main grudge was in not able to set right the problem of underground sewage mixing with drinking water. “A woman insulted me saying that I was not qualified to be a councillor at all,” he said.

Stating that the underground drainage was not properly implemented, he sought action against officials. Similar complaints were made by members like, N. Arumugam and K. Thangavel. Many councillors including T. Anandavalli and S. Veeranan, complained of mosquito menace.

More In: Madurai