Kochi

Upgraded municipalities hope for increased staff strength

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Formed in April, 1990, the municipality has been languishing among the third grade municipalities since then despite touching an annual income of around Rs. 20 crore and a population of 67,000.

The elevation to the top league has given three municipalities in the district hope for a better staff pattern befitting their status.

Thrikkakara, Kalamassery, and Tripunithura municipalities were among the 15 across the State upgraded as first grade municipalities based on the benchmarks of an annual income of more than Rs. 4 crore and a population in excess of 50,000.

Jamal Manakkadan, chairman, Kalamassery municipality, welcomed the decision as the fruition of the civic body’s 15-year-long dream.

Formed in April, 1990, the municipality has been languishing among the third grade municipalities since then despite touching an annual income of around Rs. 20 crore and a population of 67,000.

“The upgrading had been a policy and political decision that successive governments had evaded till now. Manjalamkuzhi Ali (Urban Affairs Minister) has been instrumental in making it a reality now,” Mr. Manakkadan, who is also the chairman of the chamber of municipal chairpersons, told The Hindu.

Tripunithura municipality, formed way back in August 1978, now commands an income of Rs. 6 crore and a population of one lakh. “The biggest advantage of the upgrade will be increased staff strength along with the sanctioning of some powerful posts. This will reflect in the speedy administrative sanction for projects and time-bound delivery of services to the public,” said Tripunithura municipal chairman R. Venugopal.

For instance, the allotment of the post of executive engineer will ensure administrative sanction for projects worth up to Rs. 1 crore whereas an assistant executive engineer in a second grade municipality is authorised only to sanction projects worth only up to Rs. 15 lakh, beyond which permission has to be sought from the government.

Severe staff shortage

Thrikkakara municipality has been reeling under severe staff shortage since its formation in November 2010. Despite being the richest municipality in the State contributing around Rs. 30 crore to the exchequer, it had been left with inadequate staff to attend to its population of more than a lakh.

“The new move will help us improve our revenue and serve the people better,” said municipal chairman Shaji Vazhakkala.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 1:00:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/upgraded-municipalities-hope-for-increased-staff-strength/article6230311.ece

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