Functioning of Corporation hit: Mayor

Special Correspondent

Rush of applicants to collect birth certificates of children

Says all major activities have come to a halt

Steps taken to streamline special counters

Thiruvananthapuram: Mayor C. Jayan Babu told the Corporation council here on Monday that the unprecedented rush of applicants to collect birth certificates under a special drive to issue unique identity cards for children had paralysed the functioning of the Corporation office.

Presiding over a meeting of the council, he said the heavy turnout of applicants since January 15 had affected the day-to-day functioning of the Corporation.

“All major activities, including the issue of building permits and renewal of certificates, have virtually ground to a halt,” he said, during a discussion on the issue.

Admitting that the Corporation had failed to anticipate the situation, he said, “We had set up 40 special counters for the campaign and deputed staff to man them. But thousands are flocking to the office every day and forming queues from 4 a.m. onwards, disregarding the dates given for issue of certificates. This has swamped the civic administration, leading to an unmanageable situation”.

Councillors, cutting across party lines, said the situation had turned into a crisis. Congress leader K.Maheswaran Nair said the government had failed to take the council into confidence on the special campaign to distribute birth certificates for the unique ID programme.

IUML councillor Beemapally Rashid said the situation would lead to a heavy setback for the Corporation in the utilisation of Plan funds.

CPI leader M.Sujanapriyan observed that the timing of the campaign for distribution of birth certificates was threatening to affect the implementation of Plan schemes. The Mayor said the Corporation had initiated moves to streamline the functioning of the special counters for issue of birth certificates. Barricades had been put up for crowd control within the premises.

He said the Corporation would consult the government on a strategy to manage the situation.

The UDF members later staged a walk out from the council hall to register their protest over the failure to tender public works in time.

The Mayor told the House that a three-member committee would be appointed to investigate reports of unauthorised reclamation of a portion of Aakulam Lake by a builder.

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