Opposition alleges repeat of several projects from past years

The first day of discussions on the City Corporation’s Budget for 2013-14 proceeded on expected lines, with the Opposition repeating its allegation of repetition of promises from the past years and the ruling party blaming the Union and the State governments for lack of funds.

C.P. Musafir Ahmed of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) kicked off the proceedings by suggesting an increase in efficiency of tax collection. He said big projects such as the Cyber Park and the Thantedam park were not mentioned in the Budget. However, he said the multi-level parking lot and the solar streetlights were worthy of emulation by other cities.

K. Sreekumar of the Congress said the current Budget was a copy of the previous year’s, pointing out page numbers from which the contents were repeated without change.

“The fact that the Deputy Mayor had to repeat many of the items from the previous Budget proves that there has not been much progress in many of the projects,” he said.

K. Sathyanathan of the Congress said the civic Budget just purveyed dreams every year, and the Corporation should carry out its own duties before blaming the State government.

“In the golden jubilee year of the Corporation, even the master plan is yet to be prepared. We have been hearing of projects such as the multi-level parking lot for the past many years. But they have remained only on paper,” he said.

Only a handful of councillors brought up issues from their own wards.

K. Devaki of the CPI(M) said the houses near the IT park were in a precarious situation, developing cracks on their walls because of the construction work. She suggested that the Corporation request the State government for compensation to the affected parties. Another suggestion was to route the linkage loans to Kudumbasree groups and payment to home shops through women’s co-operatives.

P. Devarajan of the CPI(M) said a special fund needed to be created to be used during times of natural calamities. He countered the Opposition allegations of water projects being ignored in the Budget, alleging that the Centre was planning to privatise water distribution in the country.

Braziliya Shamsudheen of the Indian National League said she had not yet got the ward fund from the previous Budget.

Sakaria P. Hussein of the Congress demanded the cancellation of the build, operate, transfer contract awarded to a private company for the construction of flats for lower-income groups at Kalluthankadavu.

Jean Moses of the Socialist Janata (Democratic) demanded an amendment to the Budget since it had no projects.

The debate will continue on Tuesday, following which Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef will give his reply.

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