Biju Govind

Says the official had misused powers

‘Sand seized without following norms’

Says officials behaved arrogantly’

Kozhikode: The differences between Mayor M. Bhaskaran and the former District Collector A. Jayathilak over seizure of sand meant for construction work of the civic body have taken a curious turn with the civic chief accusing the official of having tried to scuttle city development projects.

Mr. Bhaskaran said here on Thursday that Corporation contractors had been finding it difficult to secure sand from October. The shortage had been brought to the notice of Local Administration Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty.

The civic body had to hold a series of discussions with the contractors to procure sand legally even from other States when many projects envisaged under the People’s Plan Campaign got stalled. The contractors thus started to obtain sand from various sources on the direction of the Corporation and most of the work began to progress from January, Mr. Bhaskaran said.

It was at this juncture that Assistant Collector N. Prasanth, on instructions from Dr. Jayathilak, seized the sand stocked on Corporation land at Karaparamba here on January 19. The seizure had been done without complying with the norms, the Mayor said.

Auction within hours

The Revenue officials had not only seized the sand without following procedures but they had also auctioned off the six loads within a few hours of its seizure. The contractors protested against the seizure and informed the corporation that they were abruptly halting all works involving the use of sand, he said.

At the same time, he wrote to the Collector mentioning these facts. However, the Collector responded to the letter implying that the Mayor was a protector of the sand mafia.

Mr. Bhaskaran said the reply was an affront to democratic bodies such as the Corporation council. The Collector behaved in an arrogant manner without showing respect to an elected representative, he said.

Besides, the Collector leaked his letter to a section of the media to depict the Mayor and the councillors in bad light. Dr. Jayathilak, as the District Magistrate, had misused his powers by doing such acts, Mr. Bhaskaran said.

The Collector humiliated and defamed the Mayor at a time when the district administration and the Corporation council should cooperate with each other for the development of the city, he said.

The Mayor had intervened in the issue considering the development of the city. But the Collector misconstrued his intervention and used the media to plant news against him. Action should be initiated against such inexcusable acts, the Mayor said.

A resolution to this effect was also adopted at the council meeting held on Wednesday.