Stage walkout from urgent meeting of Corporation Council

Councillors of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam staged a walkout from an urgent meeting of the Corporation Council alleging that the Opposition was not being allowed to air their grievances and expressing dissatisfaction over dengue prevention measures and road repair works in city.

Incidence of dengue in the city and the measures taken by the Corporation to control its spread dominated the proceedings of the urgent meeting of the council chaired by A.Jaya, Mayor, on Thursday, with members of the DMK and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam engaging in repeated wordy duels.

Raising the issue at the meeting, M.Anbazhagan, former deputy mayor of the DMK, his party colleagues R.C.Ganesan and T.Muthuselvam, alleged that the Corporation efforts were not fully successful in checking the spread of dengue. “We appreciate that you carried out an awareness drive aimed at source reduction of breeding of dengue causing mosquito. But there was no proper follow up action, especially in wards represented by DMK councillors,” Mr.Anbazhagan alleged.

Information about incidence of dengue was being suppressed and private hospitals were not admitting dengue patients. But the government hospital is not able to cater to all the dengue patients, he charged. Mr.Ganesan and Mr.Muthuselvam accused the Corporation of failing to check the spread of dengue in the city, leading to heated exchanges with J.Srinivasan of the AIADMK and others who denied that there was any discrimination in the prevention measures among wards.

Responding to the complaints, Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani affirmed that the Corporation had taken up a massive campaign aimed at source reduction of breeding of dengue causing mosquito aedes aegypti. Thanks to the measures, the spread of dengue has been controlled to a large extent in the city. Over the past 15 days, 300 special medical camps have been conducted and about 22,000 patients with fever and symptoms of dengue have been treated.

So far the measures were focussed on the high risk areas and places where dengue cases were reported. The Corporation has now decided to extend the campaign to all wards. He also suggested the formation of a committee comprising councillors of all parties to supervise the measures. Not satisfied with his reply and alleging that the Opposition was not allowed to air their grievances, Mr.Anbazhagan led a walkout. Independent councillor M.Venkataraj also joined the DMK members.

Earlier, Mr.Anbazhagan and few other DMK councillors opposed the Corporation move to service property tax notices to residents through members of self help groups. The task should be carried out only by Bill Collectors as being done now to avoid any politicisation or controversy, they said.

Responding to complaints of overflowing manholes in the city, Mr.Thandapani also informed the council that a new drainage scheme for the city, with a capacity to handle about 200 million litres of sewage a day (MLD), has been finalised and it was awaiting the government nod. Though the Corporation was currently supplying about 96 MLD of drinking water a day to the city, the capacity of the existing underground drainage scheme was just about 56 MLD.

The Corporation is seeking a financial grant of about Rs.1.88 crore from the government for installing generators (and their annual fuel expenditure) at sewage lifting stations situated in low lying areas. This was essential to prevent overflowing of sewage during the disruption in pumping at times of power cuts.