Bid to destabilise civic body, says Premajam
Left Democratic Front (LDF) councillors of the Kozhikode Corporation led by Mayor A.K. Premajam will stage a sit-in in front of the district collectorate here on July 3 in protest against the State government’s alleged attempts to impede the functioning of the civic body.
Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Prof. Premajam, Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef, and councillor M. Mohanan of the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPI-M), said elected representatives from the district would take part in protest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Mayor accused the United Democratic Front (UDF) government of trying to destabilise local bodies by ignoring financial needs and encroaching on their administrative freedom. Several civic bodies were struggling hard to pay salaries to employees, they said. The government had not paid the Rs.26 crore towards pension fund due to the Corporation. The pension of municipal employees was paid from the Municipal Pension Fund held by the Director of Urban Affairs. In August 2010, the Corporation got Rs.3 crore from the government after a Corporation delegation met the Minister of Urban Affairs. Government officials said the amount had been transferred to the Treasury. But the Treasury authorities had not been informed of this, Prof. Premajam said.
The Deputy Mayor said funds under the general purpose grant for various development activities had not been disbursed to the civic body in the first quarter of this fiscal ending June 30.
As much as Rs.21 crore, in 12 instalments, had to be received from the government. The Corporation had been spending Rs.3 crore a month under the salary and pension heads, Mr. Latheef said.
Prof. Premajam said the government violated Section 48 of the Kerala Municipal Act that stressed on consulting the local body in the appointment of the Corporation Secretary. The government arbitrarily transferred the incumbent Corporation Secretary M. Kunhi Mohammed, who was to retire in five months, and made him Additional Secretary in the Kollam Corporation, she said.
The government also revoked an order of the Corporation taking disciplinary action against upper division clerk M.V. Ramsi Ismail following a complaint by Congress councillor K. Balagopalan. Now, the suspended employee had been appointed Kudumbasree Project Director without consulting the Corporation. The post of personal assistant to the Mayor had been lying vacant for the last six months.
Various posts in the Engineering and Health sections of the Corporation had not been filled. The government had issued an order entrusting the Corporation with the responsibility to repair street lights. The Kerala State Electricity Board had been doing this, the Mayor said.
State urged to address financial needs Administrative interference alleged
State urged to address financial needs
Administrative interference alleged