The Corporation council meeting on Tuesday saw a heated debate over advertisements on street lamp posts.
Mr. N. Venugopal raised this issue by pointing out that the Corporation had been made to spend nearly Rs. 2 crore for maintaining the sodium vapour lamps, while it was not getting any revenue from the advertisements posted on them.
While Mayor Tony Chammany said that the present advertisements were put on a temporary basis and the Corporation was releasing funds for maintenance of the lamps from its funds till a system was brought in place after inviting competitive tenders, the Town Planning Officer told the Council that the present agency was given extension to continue using the lamp posts for advertisements till March end.
Following this, pandemonium broke out, as councillors pointed out that the contract with the agency that was supposed to maintain the lamps had been cancelled by the Corporation secretary and it would not be possible to give extension.
At the end of the discussions, Mr. Chammany asked Deputy Mayor Bhadra B. to look into the issue and clarify the fact at the next council meeting scheduled for May 26. M. Anilkumar and T.J. Vinod were among those who talked on the subject.
Earlier, Mr. Chammany refuted the allegation raised by many councillors, including K.J. Jacob, Leader of the Opposition and Mr. Venugopal, that the City Police were building medians along arterial roads like Banerjee Road unilaterally and taking revenue generated out of advertisements put up on them. The construction work of medians was commissioned by the Corporation itself, the Mayor clarified.
In response to the issue of sewage being dumped in public places, Mr. Chammany said that steps have been taken to impose a fine on those found dumping it. T.K. Ashraf, chairman of health standing committee, said a round-the-clock special cell has been opened at Yatra auditorium and councillors should report any such instances to the cell.
The council decided to postpone the proposal for appointing consultancy for installing a fire system at the Brahmapuram solid waste treatment plant for further discussions in the next council meeting, after councillor M.P. Mahesh Kumar pointed out that other options were also available.
The council meeting also passed resolutions for allotting financial help to families of four youth from Fort Kochi, who were drowned in Periyar on their way back from Malayatoor pilgrimage.
The also wanted to seek State Government's intervention to end toll collection at Thoppumpady BOT Bridge.