Corporation Council passes resolution

The City Corporation Council, which met here on Monday, adopted a resolution urging the State government to prioritise the development of the capital city in the Budget presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani.

Seeking leave for an adjournment motion on the issue, chairman of the standing committee on Works V.S. Padmakumar said the capital city had been completely sidelined in the alteration memorandum presented by Mr. Mani in the Assembly on Friday.

He said the Budget would cripple the development of the capital. Mr. Padmakumar said the budgetary allocation for many key infrastructure projects in the city was woefully inadequate or reduced to zero and the Finance Minister had dashed the hopes of the city residents.

“While the last Budget presented by T.M. Thomas Isaac had allocated Rs.10 crore for the Attukal township scheme, Mr. Mani completely ignored the project. The widening of the Karamana - Kaliyikkavila stretch of the National Highway has been overlooked. The ambitious Technocity project, development of the Technopark campus, second phase of the international airport, infrastructure improvement of hospitals, tourism development, solid waste management, and protection of rivers and canals have been put on the backburner. The Budget has also ignored the marginalised coastal communities,” he said.

The ensuing discussion on the motion saw the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) repeatedly locking horns with the Opposition United Democratic Front (LDF). Expressing serious concern over the neglect of the city, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Council party backed the resolution.

Putting up a brave face, UDF leaders tried to take the ruling front head on, alleging that the Corporation had failed to utilise the funds liberally handed out by the Centre under various schemes. Accusing Mr. Padmakumar of distorting facts, UDF leader K. Maheswaran Nair said the LDF was flagging the Attukal township project with the sole objective of harnessing religious sentiments for political gain. He said the Corporation had miserably failed to improve the basic infrastructure in the area around the Attukal temple.

UDF Council party leader Johnson Joseph and Thampanoor councillor Harikumar alleged that the BJP had joined hands with the CPI(M) to derail major infrastructure projects.

BJP councillors said the Budget was a huge setback for the Attukal temple township project that was already under implementation. Ponnumangalm ward councillor M.R. Gopan accused the UDF of sabotaging the project to widen the Karamana - Kaliyikkavila stretch.

Former Mayor J. Chandra appealed to the Council to put aside political differences and step up pressure on the government to put the development of the capital city back on track.

Rounding off the discussion, Mayor K. Chandrika said the revised Budget presented by the Finance Minister had sparked off concern about the fate of several key projects. Responding to the allegations raised by the UDF benches, she said the previous UDF government was responsible for the delay in identifying the nodal agency for implementation of the Central government-sponsored Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP).

The Mayor said the construction of a sewage treatment plant, modernisation of the garbage processing plant at Vilappil, and the mass housing project taken up under the (Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) had achieved significant progress over the last year.

RELATED NEWS

Corporation's waste management in disarrayAugust 1, 2011