Special Correspondent

Mayor R. Venkatachalam rejects demand

Opposition parties stage walk out from the Council

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation refused to relent on its stand that the civic body had no role in the housing scheme for slum dwellers at Ammankulam where two multi-storeyed tenements sank last month.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and the Bharatiya Janata Party had demanded a special meeting on this issue.

Beneficiaries

Mayor R. Venkatachalam had rejected the demand by explaining that the tenements project was being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board.

Leader of the AIADMK in the Council P. Rajkumar pointed out that the Corporation had identified the beneficiaries for the scheme. Therefore, it was the moral responsibility of the Mayor to investigate what led to the sinking of the tenements. The Mayor replied that he could not do so because the State Government and the board were inquiring into it.

‘No orders'

R. Kalyanasundaram (CPI) said the Corporation could have inspected the site when the construction was in progress. But, the Mayor said: “We had no orders to do that.”

The discussion often led to verbal clashes, with the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on one side and the protesting Opposition parties on the other.

East Zone Chairman and DMK member S.M. Samy wondered why this issue was being discussed in the Council when the Corporation had neither provided funds nor even prepared the detailed project report for the tenements at Ammankulam.

Deputy Commissioner V. Shanta put an end to the debate by stating that the Corporation Council had passed a resolution only for issuing a no objection certificate so that the TNSCB could be sure that the land would not be sought for any other purpose.

The board had submitted the project report to the Central Government, through the State Government, for the construction of the tenements under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Therefore, the Coimbatore Corporation was in no position to comment on or intervene in what happened at Ammankulam.

Following this, the Opposition parties staged a walkout from the Council.

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