Motion on eco clearance for Vizhinjam terminal passed

The City Corporation council meeting on Saturday witnessed noisy scenes over two adjournment motions moved by councillors of the ruling CPI(M). The first one moved by Palayam Rajan was related to the State government’s move to grant autonomy to three city colleges — University, M.G. and Mar Ivanios. He said this should be done only after deliberations at various levels to assess the impact and effectiveness of the change.

“Administrative autonomy is a tricky decision as there is a chance that the government may try to fill the governing body with its people,” said Mr. Rajan in his motion.

This led to an uproar with United Democratic Front (UDF) councillor A. Mujib Rahman taking offence to ‘the wordings’ in the motion. Another Opposition councillor, K. Maheswaran Nair’s comments on the University College being ‘a haven for anti-social elements owing allegiance to the Left’ angered the ruling party. They maintained that the granting of autonomy did not reduce the quality of any institution.

The issue was later resolved with Deputy Mayor G. Happy Kumar, who chaired the council for most part, saying that the motion can be passed with changes after a discussion with the secretary.

The second adjournment motion moved by Punchakkari councillor A.J. Sukarno said all efforts should be taken to secure environmental clearance for the Vizhinjam Transhipment Terminal. He pointed to the absence of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Ports at a meeting of the Environmental Appraisal Committee in New Delhi on September 21. Also, several members of the lobby opposing the project were present at the meeting, he said.

Opposition councillor K.H. Sudheer Khan said the CPI (M) never took any action to expedite the execution of the project when it was in power. The motion was later put to vote and passed with 46 votes against 32. The discussion through the day centred on the issue of lack of streetlights and pollution problems at the Shanthikavadam electric crematorium.