Special Correspondent

Corporation move to light up National Highway bypass

Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation Council has decided to seek private sponsorship to install streetlights on the Kazhakuttam-Chakka stretch of the National Highway bypass.

The council, which met here on Saturday, adopted a resolution sanctioning sponsorship from hotels, banks, construction companies and information technology companies on the Technopark campus.

Moving the resolution, Puthenkada Vijayan, Chairman of the Works standing committee, said a government-sponsored project for installing the lights had failed to take off.

He said Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty had proposed the sponsorship route as a solution to the problem.

BPL list

Mayor C. Jayan Babu told the council that the Corporation would appeal to the government seeking more time to finalise the fresh list of below the poverty line (BPL) families in the city. Rounding off a discussion on the anomalies in the draft list, he said officials were struggling to verify the 36,000 complaints received from the public.

Earlier, councillors participating in the debate said a large number of eligible families were excluded from the list, while ineligible persons had been included. United Democratic Front (UDF) councillors alleged that many of the complaints had not been investigated properly. They demanded a comprehensive ward-level review of the draft list.

Denying the charge, the ruling front said the list was being reviewed. LDF members hit back, saying that the new criteria fixed by the Union government for identifying BPL families were responsible for the anomalies. They said the decision of the Union government to drastically reduce the number of BPL families in the State would push large sections such as traditional fishermen and Scheduled Caste families out of the ambit of welfare schemes.

Death of teacher

UDF councillors staged a walkout from the council hall to protest against the Mayor’s permission for a verbal resolution moved by the CPI(M) councillor Karamana Hari protesting against the death of a teacher who was allegedly attacked by Muslim Youth League activists in Malappuram district.

As soon as Mr. Hari moved the resolution, UDF council party leader Johnson Joseph rose to oppose it. The Mayor, however, let Mr. Hari continue. The UDF members trooped out in protest.

Plan projects

The meeting approved the annual Plan projects to be taken up by the Corporation in 2008-09.

A resolution moved by Nanthencode ward councillor Palayam Rajan urged the government for pedestrian facilities and scientific traffic regulation at the Plamoodu junction.

Moving the motion, Mr. Rajan said the heavy traffic at the junction and the absence of a pedestrian signal system and traffic signboards had made the area hazardous for the public.

The resolution was adopted unanimously.

The meeting adopted another resolution calling upon the government for urgent steps to widen the National Highway from Neeramankara to Kaliyikkavila.

Estate ward councillor A. Vijayan, who opened a debate on the topic, said traffic snarls had become a regular occurrence on the key route, resulting in wastage of precious fuel and inconvenience for the public.