No-confidence motion against Mayor defeated 41-28

Staff Reporter

Opposition levels a host of charges against administration

KOCHI: Mayor Mercy Williams on Tuesday survived the no-confidence motion brought against her by the Opposition United Democratic Front, with the measure being defeated by a vote of 41 against 28.

The voting on the motion was held at the Council Hall after discussions that went on for hours.

Ineptitude in implementing various projects and the alleged gross failure in waste management were cited as the reasons by the Opposition to express loss of confidence in the Mayor and the ruling Council.

In a scathing attack, Opposition leader A.B. Sabu said the State government’s decision to shift the responsibility of waste management from the corporation to the district administration for a while was testimony to the failure of the local body.

The “incomplete” solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram found mention in the debate.

Mr. Sabu alleged that only 40 per cent of the work was over, and that there was no viable proposal for plastic waste disposal.

Mishandling of funds, ineffective communication between the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, lack of accessibility and transparency in the functioning of offices were among the charges raised by the Opposition which alleged that despite having access to Rs. 423 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme, the corporation had been able to utilise only Rs. 21.17 crore.

‘Futile exercise’

Similarly, only 14 per cent of the funds made available under the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project had been used so far, the Opposition said.

The corporation had antagonised not only its citizens but also the court and the Ombudsman for local self-government institutions, Mr. Sabu alleged.

On their part, the ruling Left Democratic Front members said that with only 28 members on its side, the Opposition motion was doomed from the beginning.

This futile exercise, they said, was nothing but a publicity stunt.

Participating in the debate, Ms. Williams said the no-confidence motion was a manifestation of the Opposition’s frustration in not being able to gain power in the last 30 years.

Sixty-nine Councillors participated in the voting that was conducted using the open dial system. Jain Grey, Councillor of Poonnurunny East and BJP Councillor Shyamala S. Prabhu did not take part.

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