The Corporation Council meeting held on Wednesday started with agitation by the only BJP councillor raising slogans against “inefficiency of the civic body.”
The meeting was chaired by Mayor Indirani Ponvasanth, Corporation Commissioner Simranjeet Singh Kahlon, Deputy Mayor T. Nagarajan. As the Mayor was through with her speech, councillor of ward 86 S. Booma interrupted, which triggered a few other councillors who condemned her conduct. She later walked out of the meeting and staged a protest. She charged that despite petitioning many times, no developmental works had been taken up in her ward in the past year.
The Mayor said a list of top 10 tax defaulters in every zone had been compiled and a target to collect ₹100 crore fixed.
Issues of battery-operated vehicles and tricycles under repair for more than a year, complaints of either overflowing drainage systems or snail-paced UGD works, lack of motorable roads, accumulating roadside sand, and demands to increase the drinking water supply days formed most of the meeting.
Demands to redress the issue of shortage of conservancy workers, Sanitary Inspectors and Assistant Engineers kept re-surfacing. It was also one among the demands put forth by Madurai South MLA M. Boominathan. DMK Councillor of ward 53 S. Arunkumar noted that five conservancy workers would not be adequate to keep almost 130 streets in his ward clean.
Zone II Chairperson A. Saravana Bhuvaneswari said that since VIPs frequented her area as it comprised Circuit House, Collectorate, Corporation Headquarters etc., adequate workers with gear must be deployed. To one of her complaints, City Health Officer S. Vinoth Kumar responded that the two locked breastfeeding rooms at M.G.R. bus stand in Mattuthavani would be reopened soon and the toilet for the differently abled people repaired.
AIADMK Councillor of ward 64 and Opposition party leader ‘Solai’ M. Raja charged that the norms to desilt water channels were flouted. “They must be desilted from zero point until the tail-end for maximum benefits instead of desilting just a portion of the channel,” he said, adding to utilise the property tax amount collected in the general fund to take up this work.
He was one among the many Councillors who demanded a written reply to the queries and complaints raised by them after every meeting. “Without proper response, we are unaware of the progress made in regard to our complaints, or even if they were communicated clearly to the officials. It used to be the norm to give written replies to our complaints before the next meeting which must be resumed,” charged CPI(M) Councillor of ward 96 N. Vijaya, questioning whether minutes of the meeting was even maintained.
DMK councillor of ward 6 B. Palselvi charged it should be a routine duty of the Corporation to impound stray cattle irrespective of being notified. “Black-skinned cows were a danger to road users at night,” she said.
AIADMK Councillor of ward 43 R. Krishnamoorthy demanded proper receipts for impounded cattle and dogs.