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‘Street lights in Ooty not serving their purpose’

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Novel protest: Sushila Agilan (DMK) staging a demonstration at municipal council meeting in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.
Novel protest: Sushila Agilan (DMK) staging a demonstration at municipal council meeting in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

DMK member blindfolded herself and sat on the floor

Udhagamandalam: ‘Street lights in many parts of this hill station are not serving their purpose.’ This complaint dominated the proceedings at a meeting of the Udhagamandalam Municipal Council held on Tuesday.

Firing the first salvo the DMK member Sushila Agilan blindfolded herself and sat on the floor to symbolically convey the message that her ward and several other parts of the town were facing severe problems due to the street lights not functioning.

Pointing out that she was forced to resort to a novel form of protest because representations made hitherto in this regard had fallen on deaf ears, she said that she would return to her seat only if the Chairman of the Council gave an assurance that he would personally look into the matter.

Thambi Ismail (DMDK) and many other members supported the protest of Ms. Agilan stating that the problem was subjecting a large number of people to considerable hardship. The Chairman R. Rajendran said that the process of procuring materials for repairing the street lights would commence forthwith and as soon as possible all the problems would be tackled.

When members including the Vice Chairman J. Ravikumar (DMK) and R. Ilango (DMK) took up the matter relating to notices being issued to people occupying municipal quarters even after retirement, the Commissioner, Seeni Ajmal Khan said that the action followed a directive issued by the High Court.

Lamenting that many of the occupants were either not paying any rent or giving a paltry sum of about rupees twenty, he said that either they must pay rent as per the rules or vacate.

Stating that the municipality should not be taken for a ride, he said that the demand of the occupants for making the buildings their own cannot be considered.

He regretted that some people were making a fast buck by misleading the occupants.

F.Vincent (Congress) said that only eligible persons should be allotted quarters by the civic administration. He added that steps should be taken to ensure that the Adam Memorial Fountain at Charing Cross here was not misused or defaced.

Thambi Ismail regretted that the inordinate delay in unveiling a statue of Rajiv Gandhi near the Central Bus Stand here was causing inconvenience to the people. Vishwanathan (MDMK) said that reasons for disruption in water supply should be informed to the people. Sampath (Ind) wanted the municipality to release a list of unauthorised constructions in the town. Mr. Khan said that the total number of unauthorised constructions here was about 1330.

In keeping with a recent directive of the High Court notices were in the process of being issued. K.A. Mustaffa (DMK) regretted that hills were giving way to buildings.

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