Passes emergency resolution; calls for government takeover
The city Corporation council meeting, on Monday, unanimously passed an emergency resolution seeking the reconstruction of the demolished Malaparamba A.U.P. School building and urging the government to take over the school.
The resolution moved by councillors K.T. Padmaja and K. Sathyanadhan said the incident tarnished the image of Kerala, which boasts high literacy rate and educational growth. The council meeting witnessed noisy scenes as some of the UDF councillors questioned the stance taken by the Corporation, which allegedly granted an ‘unfit’ certificate to the school manager enabling him to demolish the building. They said the same authority had earlier issued a fitness certificate to the building upon a request submitted collectively by the teachers there to get salary from government regularly.
The Opposition councillors said the Corporation was primarily responsible for the demolition. “An inquiry should be conducted into the way in which the unfit certificate was granted to the school manager and the way it was processed at the corporation council office,” they demanded.
Opposition leader M.T. Padma claimed that Mayor A.K. Premajam should be held responsible for the incident as no files could be processed without her official sign.
The truth must be brought to light through a fair inquiry, she affirmed.Mayor’s version
Meantime, Mayor A.K. Premajam explained that she was not going through all the files and signing it as projected by the Opposition. “On certain occasions, the signature of the department head concerned or the Corporation secretary would be sufficient to process the files,” she maintained.
However, Corporation secretary B.K. Balraj clarified that it was the engineering department that checked the fitness of the school building and issued the certificate. “The issue would be checked by the Corporation in consultation with the Engineering wing,” he added.
P. Ushadevi, chairperson of the standing committee on Education, placed her demand to check whether the school manager had properly submitted applications to obtain the fitness certificate. “The previous years’ history too should be checked to ensure transparency,” she demanded.
Some of the UDF councillors also criticised A. Pradeepkumar, MLA, stating that he intervened in the issue only after people started agitating. “His submission in the Assembly was late and was made after the mass agitation on the issue,” said councillor K.C. Shobhitha. The feeble protest by the Left parties led to suspicion, she said.