Muthuselvam circulates a statement urging Chief Minister to act against the civic body
The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation Council witnessed a furore on Wednesday after a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillor circulated a statement in the council hall calling upon the State government to initiate action against the “inactive” civic body.
T. Muthuselvam was in the eye of the storm for most part of the council meeting after circulating a two-page printed statement alleging that the civic body was in a limbo as it had failed to provide drinking water supply and other basic amenities in his ward no. 40 and adjacent wards.
“Residents hardly get drinking water supply for 15 minutes in wards 39 and 40. Even though the quantum of supply has not increased, new water connections are still being provided at wayside villages under the 25-year-old drinking water scheme with its source at Cauvery in Jeeyapuram. Frequent bursts in the water mains and power cuts result in poor supply,” he alleged in the statement.
Residents in Pirattiyur, Ashok Nagar, MGR Nagar, and other places were apprehensive that their colonies could be flooded as drains had not been cleared of silt. He complained over the non-functioning streetlights and shortage of sanitary workers and condemned the corporation move to dump garbage at Panchapur.
“The civic administration has come to a standstill and “the government should dissolve it,” read the unsigned statement.
The DMK councillor circulated the statement among councillors when the meeting was just about to begin, triggering vociferous objections from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors.
The AIADMK members were on their feet as soon as the meeting began and accused Mr. Muthuselvam of lowering the dignity of the House.
V. Iyyappan (AIADMK) questioned the propriety of distributing such statements in the House when the member could raise the issues at the meeting.
Mr. Muthuselvam defended his action saying that he did not get adequate opportunity to speak on the issues.
The council witnessed heated exchanges as DMK councillors came out strongly in support of their party colleague.
The former deputy mayor and DMK floor leader M. Anbazhagan maintained that Mr. Muthuselvam had circulated the statement as nothing came out of raising such issues at the council meetings and his representations had gone unheeded.
J. Srinivasan, AIADMK, said the previous DMK regime was to blame for most of the problems faced in the city. However, a slew of works had been executed in Mr. Muthuselvam’s ward, he said and asked the officials to list the works taken up in ward 40.
City Engineer R. Chandran said works estimated at Rs. 1.73 crore had been taken up in the ward. Mayor A. Jaya (AIADMK) said Rs. 25 lakh worth of works had been sanctioned for the ward under the Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project.
Mr. Srinivasan charged the DMK councillor with behaving in undisciplined manner repeatedly in the council meetings. “Mr. Muthuselvam should express regret for his action or be evicted from the house,” he demanded.
While the Mayor directed the councillor to express regret or face eviction, the DMK councillor stood his ground.
The DMK councillors argued that worse cases of indiscipline, including throwing down microphones in the council, had gone unpunished in the past.
Order was restored after 45 minutes of wrangling with Mr. Anbazhagan giving an assurance to ensure that such actions were not repeated, provided the Opposition members were given adequate opportunity to speak at the council.