Special Correspondent

Fears of party have been allayed: Pinarayi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: State secretary of the CPI(M) Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the CPI(M) is no longer opposed to the urban local bodies in the State accepting loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Replying to questions at a 'meet-the-press' programme here on Friday, Mr. Vijayan said his party did have some reservations about the ADB loan package initially, but these had now been removed with the ADB agreeing to alter its original proposals.

"We no longer have any objection to the (municipal) corporations accepting the loans, but we don't intend to insist that they must do so," he said.

Initial opposition

The CPI(M) State secretary said one of the points on which the CPI(M) objected to the ADB loan initially related to the proposal to levy user charges on drinking water supplied through public taps.

This would have resulted in people being denied water, but this condition was withdrawn later.

Similarly, there was the proposal that water that the corporations supply must be metered.

He said the CPI(M) had no objection to this proposal because corporations did not get water for free as many seemed to think and it was good to know what the water utilisation patterns were.

No ADB dominance

Mr. Vijayan said another major fear was that the ADB would come to dominate the corporations, but this too was allayed with the ADB making it clear that the supremacy of the corporations would be ensured.

On the contentious questions of disposal of waste water and solid waste processing, he said the CPI(M) had strong objection to the burden being passed on to the poor.

Plan grants

He said the present understanding was that the Government would provide the required funds to the corporations as additional plan grants.

"We don't have the position that we will not accept the loan because it comes from the ADB. We had our differences, but these have been addressed," Mr. Vijayan said.

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