Bid to iron out differences on the garbage collection issue.

Since the Council meeting held a week ago, the relationship between members of the ruling front in the city Corporation has not exactly been cosy. On Thursday, a string of meetings held at the Mayor’s chamber here attempted to sort things out.

A resolution on entrusting a private firm with the responsibility of collecting plastic waste from the city had put even ruling councillors in different camps. On June 12, when the resolution was presented, Welfare standing committee chairperson Palayam Rajan had openly expressed his displeasure with it. Four companies had responded to the Expressions of Interest invited by the civic body. Mr. Rajan alleged bias towards a Hyderabad-based firm. He said that though the garbage collection centre was proposed to be set up in his ward, he was not told about the plans. He said he was ‘very uncomfortable’ with the manner in which the company, based outside the State, was being promoted, especially when more favourable terms were put forth by local organisations .

The resolution resurfaced on Monday when the agenda for the next meeting was being prepared. It was worded the same, with no scope for reassessment. This upset Mr. Rajan, even leading him to compose a letter of resignation. Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar intervened and arranged for the meetings on Wednesday.

“There was no clarity, just a vague mention of EoI. Why will I not agree to something that could make a difference to garbage management in the city? While other wards refused to set up plastic shredding machines, I risked embarrassment and convinced the people of my ward to allow it to be set up. A protocol has to be followed before finalising the agency,” said Mr. Rajan.

Works standing committee chairperson V.S. Padmakumar said that the misunderstandings had been ironed out. A meeting would be convened before Friday regarding the formation of an evaluation committee. The issue would appear again in the agenda, which would be amended to include the constitution of this committee.