An all-party delegation of the City Corporation council led by Mayor K. Chandrika met Urban Affairs Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty on Tuesday to request the State government to extend the period for implementation of 2011-12 People's Plan projects of the Corporation.
Earlier, the council had passed a resolution seeking an extension of three months to complete the schemes under the People's Plan for the current fiscal. Speaking on the issue, works standing committee chairman V.S. Padmakumar said that because of the delay in getting technical sanction from the District Planning Committee (DPC), the Corporation could implement only 30 per cent of the projects included in the Plan so far.
Mr. Padmakumar said that although the Corporation had submitted the proposals to the DPC in August, it was only in December that the first set of projects received technical sanction. We received sanction for the rest of the projects just a few days ago,” he said. Of the 1,384 projects submitted before the DPC and State Level Technical Advisory Group (SLTAG), only 81 had been sanctioned.
However, Mr. Padmakumar's remarks against the government drew flak from Opposition councillors who alleged that the Corporation was trying to blame the State government for its inefficiency. Responding to this Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar said that it was not just the City Corporation, but most of the local bodies in the State could not implement their Plan schemes because of the delay in receiving government sanction.
“We know that the delay was primarily because of the Assembly elections and the government change. But it is a fact that no local body in the state has been able to implement their Plan projects fully. In fact our Corporation is in a much better position when compared to other local bodies,” he said.
A discussion on the installation of high mast lamps in city junctions led to heated exchange of words. The issue cropped up after Mr. Padmakumar informed the council that project for installing high mast lamps in six junctions — Kazhakuttom, Sreekariyam, Kovalam, Poojappura, Peroorkada, and Mannanthala — had been sanctioned.
Several councillors opposed the suggestion saying that locations for installing the high mast lamps were decided unilaterally.