Staff Reporter

Only memorials for leaders planned, says Deputy Mayor

UDF councillors complain to Local

Self Government Secretary

Council planning memorials, museum

KOCHI: The Corporation Council meeting scheduled for Friday is likely to be a stormy one with the Opposition planning to raise the issue of “land allotment” to some political parties by the civic administration.

It is the move of the civic administrators to allot land for building memorials for a few socio-political leaders of the city that has irked the United Democratic Front councillors. Moves are afoot to hand over prime city areas to some political parties absolutely free in the name of memorials, which cannot be permitted, said A.B. Sabu, the UDF leader in the Kochi corporation.

The civic authorities have initiated steps for allotting 64 cents near Pachalam, four cents at Sahodaran Ayyappan road and two cents at Palluruthy in the name of memorials.

The market value of these holdings will run into crores of rupees.

The civic authorities made the moves for allotting land on occasions when the UDF boycotted the council proceedings.

It was illegal and unethical to allot the land in a clandestine manner, he said.

Mr. Sabu said he had lodged a complaint with the Secretary for the Local Self Government Department regarding the land allotment. The UDF will strongly oppose the moves inside the council. The front partners will soon chalk out an agitation against the move, he said.

The front has also plans to urge the prominent socio-cultural personalities to write to the Chief Minister, who had adopted a tough stand against land grab, he said.

At the same time, C.K. Manisankar, Deputy Mayor, said that the corporation has not assigned any land to anyone in the city.

The council has not decided to allot land for constructing the party office of the CPI(M). The decision to construct memorials for the leaders was openly announced in the annual budget that was passed by the council.

There were instances when land was allotted for constructing memorials for several Congress leaders. It was well within the powers of the civic body to allot land for such memorials, he said.

The council has proposed to construct a museum at the boat jetty as a tribute to former Culture Minister T.K. Ramakrishnan, which could be utilised by the visitors to the city including tourists.

In the case of the memorial at S.A. Road, it was proposed to construct an open air stage in memory of Koru Asan, who had served as a corporation councillor for over three decades. Any one can use it to organise public functions, he said.