Rs.32.4 lakh to be sanctioned for 75 wards

The city Corporation Council on Tuesday decided to start pre-monsoon cleaning of drains this week on a war footing.

The special council meeting was convened on a request by the Opposition for a discussion on the delay in monsoon-related cleaning.

Corporation secretary V.K. Balraj informed the Council that an amount of Rs.32.4 lakh would be sanctioned for the 75 wards within two days as per the recommendation of the standing committee on health. Each ward would receive a fund of Rs.30,000 to Rs.1.5 lakh for cleaning drains, based on applications submitted by the health inspector.

On the Corporation officials’ refusal to allocate funds in advance, Mr. Balraj said the officials concerned had not submitted bills for the cleaning activities taken up in the past three years. Bills for cleaning work of around Rs.75 lakh had not been accounted for. Certain anomalies had been found in the audit reports, he said.

In response to this, Mayor A.K. Premajam said that if anomalies had been detected during the audits, these should be solved and the next course of action undertaken. She said she would look into the problems cited in the audit reports and about the sum sanctioned for cleaning by the health standing committee not being included as an item on the agenda.

However, health standing committee chairman Janamma Kunjunni said she had requested the secretary for funds more than 10 times and did not get a favourable response. The request for the same had been submitted for the first time in February.

Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef said the funds for cleaning activities had been allocated in advance in the past two years, even after the audit report was published.

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