Sanchaya issue: Kozhikode Corporation’s activities likely to freeze

One of the illegal buildings on Kozhikode beach that was awarded building number.

One of the illegal buildings on Kozhikode beach that was awarded building number. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The Sanchaya password leak issue may freeze the activities of the Kozhikode Corporation on Wednesday, as most employees under the aegis of a combined protest committee will go on leave to take part in a general body meeting of the committee, to discuss the future plan of action.

The employees had gone on a token strike on Monday, demanding that the Corporation authorities revoke the suspension of the four officials immediately and conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the issue. The Mayor, at a meeting, had requested the employees not to resort to severe protest measures.

“Preliminary investigations show that the four suspended officials were not to blame, and that some of them were, in fact, whistleblowers, who had alerted the Corporation Secretary about the malpractice. Hence, such an action against them was uncalled for. This is just a knee-jerk reaction when the issue got out despite keeping it under wraps for months,” said Anil Kumar T., district president of the Kerala Municipal and Corporation Staff Union (KMCSU).

P.V. Sreenivasan, one of the suspended officials, had complained to the Corporation Secretary in February that his login details had been misused to give permission for 236 illegal buildings in the Cheruvannur-Nallalam zone and had requested an inquiry into the matter, said Mr. Kumar. However, the Corporation did not take any action on his complaint, he added. The employees now want the authorities to reveal why the complaint was brushed under the carpet.

The combined protest committee, comprising members of the Kerala Municipal and Corporation Staff Association (KMCSA) and the KMCSU, is planning to go on an indefinite strike if the problem escalates.

Meanwhile, a report of the Information Kerala Mission, which had developed the Sanchaya software for property tax assessment, said that of the many times the login details of Corporation officials were misused to approve illegal constructions in the city, the login had happened from the Corporation office a few times, even at midnight, raising questions as to who had access to the office after working hours. In some cases, the verification and approval had taken place in seconds, which gave the impression that it was the same individual that did both actions.

“The Sanchaya software can be accessed from any computer or mobile phone provided one has login details. Besides, all documents pertaining to the Corporation are available to any individual who logs in, and they can make any changes, while an official handling the property tax for a particular ward need not get details pertaining to another ward,” said Mr. Kumar.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Feroke) M.M. Siddique will lead the investigation into the case, while Beypore Circle Inspector V. Sajith is the investigating officer, as primary investigation showed that the scam was centred around the Corporation’s Beypore zonal office.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 10:40:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/sanchaya-issue-kozhikode-corporations-activities-likely-to-freeze/article65549371.ece