Kochi

Uma Thomas slams government over move to tax residents near metro rail

The new Thrikkakara MLA Uma Thomas has criticised the alleged State government move to increase luxury tax on buildings located within 1 km of the Kochi metro rail, stating that it should not be allowed to go through. Ms. Thomas was attending a meet-the-press organised by the Ernakulam Press Club here on Friday.

“I don’t think it will be implemented. The metro rail was set up after land acquisition and now people cannot be taxed for living near it. Let the government give them alternative land. Anyway, it is in the proposal stage, and there will be a proper response if and when it is to be implemented,” she said.

Asked whether she thought the government would stifle the development plans of the constituency since she was an Opposition MLA, Ms. Thomas said the Thrikkakara election campaign had proved to be a blessing, since all the ministers had visited the constituency and made promises to the electorate. “Seems like a little push from my side will be all that’s needed. Personally, I don’t think it is about being on the ruling or Opposition side but about working for the people. I hope there will be no such discrimination and if it so happens, I will deal with it,” she said.

Ms. Thomas absolved the United Democratic Front (UDF) of allegations of continuing a personal vilification campaign against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate even after the election. “I was the first victim of such a campaign when I was criticised for entering politics with observations of how in the past widows jumped into the husbands’ pyre, but they now jump into politics. Even the Chief Minister dubbed the by-election to be a fortunate development for the LDF to achieve century [in the Assembly], insensitive to the fact that losing PT [late husband and legislator P.T. Thomas] was the worst thing to happen to me,” she said.

Ms. Thomas said that having been on the receiving end, she understood what LDF candidate Jo Joseph had gone through and called for a probe to bring culprits before the law.

On traffic snarls at Vytilla, she said a master plan for Vytilla prepared at the initiative of Thomas was completely ignored. “There is no point in doing a post-mortem. But there should be collective brainstorming to tackle the issue,” she said.

Prioritising drinking water scarcity and waste management as her focal areas, Ms. Thomas said a comprehensive traffic diversion plan in association with various agencies needed to be drawn up ahead of the Kakkanad extension of the Kochi metro.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 12:28:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/uma-thomas-slams-government-over-move-to-tax-residents-near-metro-rail/article65560819.ece