Kozhikode Corporation considering by-law for residents’ associations

Workers of Kozhikode Municipal Corporation removing unauthorised hoardings at Muthalakkulam in the city on Tuesday, with the help of the police after the civic body ordered the immediate removal of such hoardings.  

The Kozhikode Corporation has decided to either frame a by-law for residents’ associations or to suggest it to the State Government.

A meeting of the Corporation Council on Tuesday noted that there were no concrete laws that governed residents’ associations, which were an important link between common people and their representatives. The decision was made following a complaint raised by Palayam councillor P. Usha Devi, stating that a group of residents’ associations in her ward had formed a coordination committee and that only the leaders of the committee turned up for any meeting, making it difficult for the councillor to reach out to her voters personally. She also questioned the Corporation’s decision to renew the licence of the coordination committee despite her objections.

The complaint led to discussions among councillors of all parties, but the council came to an understanding that the licences of residents’ associations could not depend on the consent of councillors. However, the council stressed the need for a common policy for residents’ associations.

Another heated discussion was on an item on the agenda, revoking a contract to renovate the subway at Palayam which the Corporation had entered into in 2020. However, the Corporation later entered into another contract with an advertising committee to renovate the subway in such a way that the civic body did not have to invest in it. The person who took up the contract earlier has requested for a refund of his deposit money.

Congress councillor K.C. Shobhita said there was something fishy about the deal in which an advertising company other than the one with which the Corporation had entered into a contract had set up boards near the subway for advertisement. She claimed that all three agencies were owned by the same person. The UDF councillors opposed the agenda, which was however passed through voting.

Meanwhile, the Corporation’s decision to waive tax for a religious institution irked the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) councillors, who asked if the same facility was available for institutions belonging to all religions. The Deputy Mayor answered in the affirmative, but the issue led to arguments between the ruling front and opposition councillors for some time.

The Council also passed an adjournment motion demanding the Centre to cancel the suspension of 12 MPs, including two Left Democratic Front MPs from Kerala, who were suspended amidst the discussion on the Pegasus controversy. NCP councillor N.C. Moyinkutty, who presented the motion, said the Speaker had snatched away the MPs’ rights and questioned why the Central Government feared discussions on the farm bills.

BJP councillor T. Rinish spoke against the motion. Deputy Mayor C.P. Musafir Ahamed said the move was rare in the history of Parliament and a violation of democratic values while Ms Shobhita asked if the same democratic values were not applicable in the council hall.

She was referring to the Mayor denying permission to adjournment motions proposed by her and BJP councillor Navya Haridas, following which the United Democratic Front (UDF) had staged a walkout at the beginning of the meeting.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 3:10:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kozhikode-corporation-considering-by-law-for-residents-associations/article37779572.ece

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