Staff Reporter

SALEM: The Salem Corporation’s failure to prevent the encroachments on its lands and the continuing irregularities in the building plan approvals came under sharp criticism at the council meeting held here on Wednesday.

Councillors, cutting across party affiliations, complained that a few influential persons had occupied Corporation’s lands in several parts of the city. “The issue was raised a number of times in the previous council meetings. Officials continue to ignore the issue,” Congress Councillor Dharmalingam accused.

DMK Councillor K.S. Palanisamy said that the persons who had taken shops in the Corporation’s commercial complexes had carried out alterations. A few persons had taken two or three shops and demolished the walls separating them.

“These activities could not have happened without the knowledge of the civic officials,” he charged.

Many councillors pointed out that the owners of the layouts in the city were not following the rules regarding open space reservation. A number of irregularities related to town planning were being committed regularly and the Corporation was yet to initiate any fruitful action.

Councillors also criticised the Corporation for not taking steps to appoint an Executive Engineer in the Town Planning Section. The section functions without an Executive Engineer for more than a year, they pointed out.

Participating in the meeting, Panamarathupatti MLA Rajendran urged the Corporation officials to speed up the improvement works taken out in the Rajavaikkal, a major water carrying channel in the city.