The Tiruchi Corporation Council on Monday approved a proposal to acquire about 245 acres of land at Panchapur in the suburbs of the city for establishing an integrated bus stand, notwithstanding a walk out by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) members.

A resolution on the proposal was passed at an urgent meeting of the Council chaired by Mayor S.Sujatha amidst protests from the AIADMK and MDMK councillors who maintained that the plan has been hastily drawn up. However, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress and the Communist Party of India welcomed the decision.

Speaking on the issue, J.Srinivasan, AIADMK floor leader, contended the entire process of identification of the site for the new bus stand was shrouded in secrecy and there was no transparent consultation. Questioning the suitability of the site, he said the area was flood-prone. Whenever the Koraiyar was in spate, the entire area would be cut off, he observed and led the walk out.

A.Joseph Gerald of the Desiya Murpokku Munnetra Kazhagam, while welcoming the plan, however, opposed the move to establish markets, truck terminal and trade centre at the site. This would only lead to congestion and traffic problems, he said .

Jerome Arockiaraj of the Congress said the site was strategically located and ideally suited for establishing the bus stand. He suggested that the Corporation explore the feasibility of generating revenue by creating permanent infrastructure such as commercial complexes and theme park.

Ms.Sujatha and Commissioner T.T.Balsamy justified the move to acquire such a huge area saying that it was necessary in view of the rapid growth of the city. The resolution would now be forwarded to government for approval and follow-up action.

Outsourcing

The Corporation also approved a proposal on outsourcing sanitary workers in view of the acute shortage of manpower in the civic body. Members of the Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a walk-out against the move. CPI councillor O.R.Sriraman argued that privatisation would not help improve sanitation in the city. Workers could be exploited by private agencies, he said and suggested that unemployed youth be recruited as temporary employees.

The Corporation has planned to carry out a part of the sanitation work in the city through outsourcing. At least 200 sanitary workers are planned to be roped in through a private agency. Tenders are to be called from agencies with relevant experience and requisite manpower in the field to take up the task.

Earlier, M.Tajudeen of DMK, who won the recent by-election to Ward 28, was administered the oath of office by the Commissioner.