Thiruvananthapuram

Bill clearance sparks off heated debate at council

The clearing of bills for electrical, plumbing, and other works done at Erumakkuzhi by the city Corporation, for turning it from a legacy waste dump into a garden, became reason for a heated debate in a council meeting held on Friday.

The debate eventually led to the first agenda that was put to vote in the new council, with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) managing to pass it on the strength of its majority even as the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) opposed it.

The BJP councillors first raised questions over an agenda item for a bill of ₹9.08 lakh for the electrical, plumbing, and other works as part of the beautification work at Erumakkuzhi. Soon, the UDF councillors also joined in raising questions over how the particular individual was selected to execute the work. Both the parties demanded that the agenda be set aside. Responding to them, Deputy Mayor P.K. Raju asked why they were finding fault with a project which the Corporation was proud of.

Below estimate

Mayor Arya Rajendran said the previous council had approved a technical committee, which had estimated that the work could be completed at ₹11 lakh. However, it had been completed at ₹9 lakh, below the estimate. After an extended discussion, the agenda was put to vote, with 53 voting for and 40 voting against it.

BJP councillor Anilkumar raised questions on how the Ulloor guest house ended up with the E.K. Nayanar Charitable Trust. Works standing committee chairperson D.R. Anil said the trust had participated in an auction conducted by the Corporation. It paid ₹2.85 lakh per month in rent, and the facility provided stay and free food for people from across the State who came in for treatment at the Government Medical College and the Regional Cancer Centre.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 2:32:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/bill-clearance-sparks-off-heated-debate-at-council/article33945717.ece

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