Thiruvananthapuram

Amendments to building permit order not cleared

A meeting of the city Corporation council on Friday failed to clear the long delayed amendments to the Interim Development Order (IDO), which governs the awarding of building permits and all kinds of land use in the city in the absence of a sanctioned master plan, as the Opposition councillors demanded more clarity on the same. Mayor K. Sreekumar set aside the agenda after a lengthy discussion. Now it is expected to be taken up in the last remaining council meeting before the local body elections.

The proposed amendments are beneficial to those who had trouble getting building permits as their land was wrongly marked as paddy field or meant for public use. Councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) initially questioned the ruling front for the delay in issuing a draft master plan.

On master plan

Town Planning Committee Chairman Palayam Rajan said that the civic body had organised consultations in all wards and with people from various sectors, to consider their concerns and to avoid the protests the previous draft master plan had to face. The COVID-19 pandemic had affected some of these processes. The draft master plan can now be tabled only in the next council’s tenure as further consultations are needed, he said.

An agenda regarding the expenses incurred for the Aksharasree project of the Kerala State Literacy Mission also led to a heated debate in the council, with BJP councillors raising doubts about spendings under the mission. The LDF councillors hit back accusing the BJP of not valuing the important work done by the mission at the grassroot level in improving literacy levels. Education Standing Committee Chairman C. Sudharshanan read out the detailed expenses under each head, including the expenses on the co-ordinators and instructors for each ward.

The agenda was later passed.

Contract workers

The city Corporation also recommended to the State government to give contingent worker status to contract workers who have been working on daily wages for the local body for years. Those who have been working with the civic body for more than one or two decades are being considered for the status. The BJP had raised objections, but the UDF supported the agenda due to humanitarian considerations.

At the end of an uncharacteristically peaceful council meeting, when all the agenda items were taken up ahead of the cut-off time, the Mayor complimented the Opposition for their co-operation.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 12:43:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/amendments-to-building-permit-order-not-cleared/article32931981.ece

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