RAY project: Opposition demands vigilance probe against Mayor

Return of security deposit to contractor without council’s nod

September 27, 2020 01:38 am | Updated 01:38 am IST - Kochi

Work on the first building for the landless in Fort Kochi under the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana (RAY) is stalled.

Work on the first building for the landless in Fort Kochi under the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana (RAY) is stalled.

The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the Kochi Corporation will stage a protest at the corporation office on Monday against the findings of the State Performance Audit Officer’s report on the implementation of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) housing project.

Instead of taking action against a contractor who failed to complete the construction of a 12-storey housing tower for the landless at Kalvathy within the contract period, the Mayor returned the contractor’s security deposit, worth ₹91.22 lakh, without the corporation council’s approval, said a statement from the LDF.

The report, which was prepared after examining the project files and the site itself, finds grave issues in the implementation of the housing scheme, and a vigilance case must be registered against the Mayor, LDF leaders K.J. Antony and V.P. Chandran said in their statement.

Appointment of Secretary

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor K.R. Premakumar has written to the Chief Minister, Minister for Local Self-Governments, and other senior government officials, asking for fresh appointments to the posts of Secretary and Additional Secretary at the corporation. For the past 14 months, either the Regional Joint Director (RJD) or the Additional Secretary has often been given additional charge of the Corporation Secretary, and their services are not always available, impacting the regular functioning of the civic body, a release from the Deputy Mayor’s office said.

The Secretary who currently holds charge is also the RJD and is required to discharge local body election-related functions. Meanwhile, the Additional Secretary, who is set to retire in about two months and has taken charge temporarily, but without an official appointment, remains unable to sign several files and bills.

While the corporation is willing to pay ₹2.5 crore to the contractors who are on strike over non-payment of dues, the cheque has not yet been signed by the Secretary, Mr. Premakumar said.

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