Congress councillors stage dharna leading to pandemonium

The issue of pothole-riddled roads rocked the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) council meeting here on Thursday.

The meeting witnessed chaotic scenes and a dharna which led to an adjournment.

The issue was raised by the Congress councillors who took exception to the administration’s “apathy” to the condition of the roads.

This led to a war of words with the ruling Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP councillors.

However, under pressure from the Opposition, it was resolved that works would be taken up on an emergency basis under short-term projects. The council was also given an assurance that work on filling the potholes would be taken up at the earliest.

When Congress councillor D. Nagabhushan raised the issue and took the officials to task stating that there was no progress even after the conclusion of the Dasara festivities, it invited rebuke from the JD(S) councillors.

As a result, a section of the Congress councillors staged a dharna in the well of the council. It led to pandemonium following which Mayor N.M. Rajeshwari adjourned the council.

When the members reassembled after nearly an hour, the Congress councillors staged a dharna again.

The former Mayor Sandesh Swamy appealed to the councillors to stop and sought cooperation to solve the problems.

The former Mayor Ayub Khan of the Congress lashed out at the Mayor and MCC Commissioner P.G. Ramesh for their “ineffective administration” and questioned why they were “apathetic” about the issue.

He expressed fear that if the works were not taken up as a short-term project, it would be held up again as the Lok Sabha elections could be announced by February and the model code of conduct would come into effect.

He was supported by other councillors who wanted the road repair works to be taken up on an emergency basis. They were annoyed that only Rs. 50 lakh had been spent on road repairs when the government had released Rs. 4 crore.

Objection raised

Mr. Ramesh said Rs. 50 lakh was utilised during Dasara and tenders for taking up works worth Rs. 3.5 crore were being finalised.

But Mr. Khan objected to it and claimed it would take one month to finalise the tenders and another three months to take up the works by when the model code of conduct would be in place and no work could be taken up.

The Mayor then directed the Commissioner to take up the work under short-term projects and complete it on priority.

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