Kochi Corporation Council witnesses acrimonious scenes

UDF councillors during their visit to the under-construction office complex of the Kochi Corporation at Marine Drive on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Kochi Corporation Council meeting on Friday witnessed acrimonious scenes as the ruling and Opposition councillors almost came to blows during a discussion on the new corporation office complex being constructed at Marine Drive.

The Opposition went on overdrive claiming that the Mayor’s view that ₹40 crore would be required for the completion of the project, when the sanction was only for ₹24.71 crore, was not justified.

The situation turned worse when Mayor M. Anilkumar got enraged after UDF councillor Manu Jacob thumped his dais as the Mayor asked Opposition councillors not to talk with pointed fingers, even as LDF councillors lined up in his support.

The situation lightened after the Mayor explained that none of the 72 councillors had taken bribe from the construction firm, and that he had full faith in the public works standing committee chairperson from the UDF.

Opposition Leader Antony Kureethara alleged that each work at the complex was estimated below ₹2 crore and made into files accordingly to secure administrative sanction from the government. Mr. Kureethara sought clarity and transparency in the work. Similar demands were raised by other UDF councillors. Public works standing committee chairperson Sunitha Dixon also sought postponement of the agenda.

Mr. Anilkumar said the corporation would go ahead with the project, and that the changes sought by UDF councillors had already been effected. In the ensuing voting, as demanded by the UDF, all agendas were passed by 36 votes against 24.

Later, Mr. Anilkumar said the new complex was the need of the hour, and that the work would be completed in time.

In keeping with the UDF’s demand, centralised air conditioning will be done away with in the new building. The construction firm has been asked not to raise the cost. The work has been split to speed up the process, he said.

View of the Indian Institute of Architects was sought before making alterations in the building, Mr. Anilkumar said.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:00:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-corporation-council-witnesses-acrimonious-scenes/article37133706.ece

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