DMK members led by party floor leader stage a walk-out condemning heavy load shedding

The poor quality of drinking water supplied in some of the wards and allegations of negligence in initiating steps to prevent dengue in the city dominated the proceedings of the Corporation Council meeting on Friday, even as opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors staged a walk-out protesting the severe load shedding.

Independent councillor M.Venkatraj kicked up much dust displaying a bottle of discoloured drinking water, which he said was being supplied to his ward (no.34). The problem, he alleged, had been persisting for three months in his ward apparently after the corporation started supplying water pumped from the collector wells of the new drinking water augmentation scheme on the Coleroon river.

Water supplied to some households was reddish and some residents complained of itching after bathing in the water. One of the residents affected by dengue was from Subramaniapuram in his ward, he said and demanded urgent steps to ensure quality of water supplied to residents.

Corporation engineers who responded to his allegation said that they had already attended to the problem and tests on water samples with TWAD lab found no problem in the quality of water supplied. The initial flow could have been discoloured at a few places, they said.

Mr.Venkatraj was soon joined by a few other DMK councillors, who alleged that the same problem persisted in three or four wards. Some of the DMK councillors also charged the corporation with negligence in initiating steps to prevent dengue. This brought the AIADMK members to the feet, with J.Srinivasan of the party wondering why Mr.Venkatraj did not raise the issue for three months. Mayor A.Jaya directed the corporation officials to conduct an inspection to set right the problem, if any, immediately.

While urging the Mayor to look into the problem as councillors from three to four wards were raising the same complaint, M.Anbazhagan, DMK floor leader, urged the corporation to intensify measures to check the spread of dengue in the city. People with fever were getting admitted to various private hospitals and there was a need to sensitise the residents to ways to prevent breeding of Aedes mosquito.

Unruly scenes were witnessed after K.S.Nagarajan of the DMK attempted to raise the issue of severe load shedding in the city by pointing out that the AIADMK had come to power assuring to overcome the problem within a year. Amidst vociferous protests from AIADMK benches, Mr.Anbazhagan led a walk-out along with his party men condemning the power cuts.

K.Shankar of the DMDK suggested that the corporation explore the feasibility of installing solar-powered street lamps in the city in view of the heavy load shedding. Commissioner V.P.Thandapani said the government has sanctioned Rs.5.45 crore for installing LED lamps for street lamps in the city under Integrated Urban Development Mission. All street lamps in the entire zone would be fully converted into LED lamps utilising the fund, he said.