Councillors say administrator kept them in the dark; petition with Urban Development Dept.

Mayor Mahabala Marla’s petition, questioning the act of Mangalore City Corporation administrator and Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim in hiking property tax rates on the date of announcement of Lok Sabha polls, has now reached the office of Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department.

On March 15, Mr. Marla wrote a letter to MCC Commissioner Ajith Kumar Hegde S. saying that the decision to publish the announcement to increase property tax rates by 15 per cent, on March 5, in newspapers when the dates for the Lok Sabha elections had been announced was in violation of model code of conduct . He asked the Commissioner to withdraw the decision taken keeping elected councillors in dark. His letter was followed by representation by as many as 35 Congress councillors reiterating Mr. Marla’s demand.

Mr. Marla told reporters that both petitions had been sent by Mr. Hegde to Mr. Ibrahim with an explanation on the sequence of events leading to the order to issue a newspaper publication. Mr. Ibrahim has forwarded the petitions with his comments to the office of Principal Secretary, Urban Development, on March 19. “The DC has asked the Principal Secretary to take an appropriate decision in the matter,” Mr. Marla said.

Mr. Marla said the Congress did not have any intention to take political mileage by questioning the action of the MCC administrator. “We are questioning the intention of administration arriving at a decision on such as serious issue by keeping us (elected councillors) out of picture.”

Former Mayor Shashidhar Hegde claimed that District in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai had asked the MCC Administrator to bring the issue of rising property tax before the MCC council.