Kozhikode

Pressure mounts, corporation cuts back rental rates

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New charges for halls and public grounds to come into effect from January 1

In the wake of mounting public discontent, especially among artistes and cultural leaders, the city corporation council unanimously reduced the hike in daily rentals for halls and public grounds owned by the civic body from January 1.

An emergency meeting of the council on Thursday decided to lower the rates, which the finance standing committee had recommended and was passed by the CPI(M)-led council despite objections from the Opposition UDF and BJP after putting the issue to vote on November 29.

Mayor Thottathil Raveendran, who chaired the meeting, said the public would not have felt that the revised rates were exorbitant had the civic body hiked rentals every three years.

V.S. Sayyid Muhammed Shameel, an Independent who won the Areekkad division bypoll, said had the CPI(M) councillors given an ear to the Opposition last month the council would not have had to face the ire of cultural leaders who had staged a protest against the Mayor.

IUML member C. Abdulrehiman alleged that the Mayor had failed to hold a meeting of party leaders to discuss the issue, while CPI(M) member K.K. Rafeek said the hike was necessitated owing to the paucity of income for the corporation to meet its development goals.

Congress councillor P.M. Niyas said the rates should have been raised reasonably rather than hiking it steeply causing inconvenience to the common man.

However, CPI(M) member K.V. Baburaj said that all councillors were in favour of raising rentals to meet the rising expenditure in renovation and modification of halls.

The corporation had hiked the rates in tune with the prevailing market rate on the recommendations of London-headquartered Knight Frank India.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:19:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/pressure-mounts-corporation-cuts-back-rental-rates/article25844283.ece

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