Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: Majority of councillors of the Mysore City Corporation have opposed the appointment of Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan as the Special Officer for implementation of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in the district.

A recent meeting of the MCC Council saw councillors cutting across party lines voicing opposition to Mr. Manivannan’s appointment as the Special Officer.

Following this, Mayor Ayub Khan led an official delegation to New Delhi on Friday to press the Union Government for early clearance of pending projects under JNNURM. This resulted not only in securing the much-awaited clearance of the long-pending Rs. 110-crore Kabini scheme to meet the projected drinking water requirements of the city till 2040, but also an assurance to clear four other projects.

The MCC’s renewed interest in the JNNURM has come close on the heels of the Government’s decision to appoint Mr. Manivannan as the Special Officer to expedite implementation of various projects, in the wake of growing public outcry against the tardy pace of works.

The MCC is the nodal agency for implementation of JNNURM projects.

With the incidents of reported insult to Mr. Ayub Khan and the arrest of two councillors at the torch light parade during the recent Dasara celebrations, allegedly at the behest of Mr. Manivannan, still fresh in their minds, the councillors, at the meeting, sought to point out that JNNURM projects require prior approval of the MCC and hence corporation Commissioner R.S. Raikar should had been the Government’s choice for the post of the Special Officer.

Reasons cited by councillors ranged from Mr. Manivannan’s “inaccessibility” to “increased workload” on him as he already holds the post of the Deputy Commissioner. But, Mr. Manivannan appears to have taken his additional responsibility in the right earnest as he held a meeting of MLAs and MLCs from the city on Saturday. He has convened a meeting of all councillors next week to “take them along” in his endeavour.

Mr. Manivannan, who held a meeting of with officials with regard to JNNURM projects recently, warned them that they would be held responsible for any tardiness in future.