UDF councillors seek Mayor’s resignation

Discussions on unfinished works in wards, the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project’s (KSUDP) reported laxity in carrying out projects under JNNURM, and the Suchitwa Mission’s reported delay in giving technical sanction to decentralised waste management projects dominated the City Corporation Council meeting on Thursday.

Issues raised

The United Democratic Front (UDF) councillors criticised the Mayor and sought her resignation for the council’s alleged failure to solve the garbage and street dog menace and issues associated with the installation and operation of street lights.

Left Democratic Front councillors put the blame on Urban Affair’s Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali.

Biogas plants

Although the tender process for the 41 biogas plants announced in October was yet to start, a new list of 27 plant locations was circulated in the council. The council was told that the Corporation engineers would begin the process shortly.

The meeting also saw LDF and UDF councillors attacking one another’s parliamentary party leaderships. LDF councillors said Johnson Joseph’s position as Leader of the Opposition in the council was shaky. The UDF councillors retaliated by stating that they were, at least, free to air differences within the party without fear unlike in the LDF where the ‘leadership was authoritarian.’

Resolution moved

The first resolution moved pertained to roadwork under JNNURM Phase-II. The hour-and-a-half debate that followed moved into whether it was the civic body or the State government that was to be blamed for the problems or lauded for the ‘progress’ made.

The Suchitwa Mission was criticised even by UDF councillor Maheshwaran Nair. He said the agency’s cooperation was ‘inconsistent.’

The arguments were a sequel to the day-long dharna staged by UDF councillors outside the Corporation office. They were protesting against the ‘inability of the civic body’ to find a solution to clogged drains, defunct street lights, garbage mounds, and potholed roads.

The UDF councillors took out a march to the council hall and raised slogans seeking the Mayor’s resignation. Health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha told The Hindu that the engineering section was looking into discrepancies in the project report regarding the installation of the biogas plants.

“It should be possible to call for tenders for 68 biogas plants of varying capacities, once this is sorted out,” she said.

The 27 new plants would include 1,000 kg/day capacity plants at markets in the Thirumala, Kamaleswaram, and Jagathy wards. Among the 15 schools chosen as plant locations were St. Mary’s School, Pattom; Peroorkada GHSS; and Vizhinjam LPS. The outlay was Rs.2.35 crore for the 27 plants and Rs.4 crore for the 41 locations, source said.

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