Opposition councillors belonging to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Left parties staged a walk out from the Corporation Council meeting expressing dissatisfaction over the allocation of funds to wards under the Special Roads Scheme 2010-11.
While the Mayor S.Sujatha, who was in the chair, and Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy maintained that the list of works to be taken up under the scheme was yet to be finalised, councillors cutting across political lines, including those from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Congress, expressed disappointment over the distribution of the Rs.25 crores sanctioned under the project to the wards.
Tempers ran high at the council meeting here on Wednesday when the AIADMK floor leader J.Srinivasan, while speaking on the issued, charged that no worthwhile project has been carried out by the Corporation over the past four years with several projects remaining on paper. His remarks evoked vociferous protest from the DMK councillors who listed out the various works taken up under the DMK regime in the Corporation. After protracted wrangling, Mr.Srinivasan led a walk out by the AIADMK and MDMK councillors.
Expressing their resentment over the distribution of funds under the project, councillors of the CPI and CPI (M) also staged a walk out.
Earlier raising the issue at the meeting, T.Kumaresan, the DMK zone chairman of Srirangam, regretted that the zone was being neglected and has been allotted only Rs.3.25 crores. He was supported by Jawahar of the Congress and other councillors from the Srirangam zone. Councillors from various parties also demanded a higher allocation to their respective wards under the scheme.
Jerome Arockiaraj of the Congress criticised the officials for failing to ensure transparency in the allocation of funds under the scheme. He was involved in a brief tussle with the Mayor when he expressed regret on behalf of the Congress. Ms.Sujatha took exception to his remark stating that she too belonged to the Congress and did not accept his views.
Earlier, AIADMK councillors caused a brief flutter as they attempted to enter the council hall wrapping themselves in mosquito nets. A cross section of the council members expressed disappointment over the functioning of the Health wing of the Corporation. They expressed concern over the poor sanitation in the city, especially in the wake of the possibility of an outbreak of water and mosquito borne diseases. They alleged that the City Health Officer (CHO) remained inaccessible to councillors and was not inspecting the wards.
Mr.Balsamy instructed the CHO to take up a special drive to carry out anti-mosquito fogging and impound stray animals in the city. He directed the official to book cases against owners letting out cattle in public places in the city.
M.Abdullah, independent, made a brief protest by squatting in front of the Mayor’s table protesting the move to start a ration shop at the office of the sanitary inspector in his ward. He wanted the Corporation to allot an alternative site for the ration shop. His attempts to enter the council hall with a broom stick.