Kochi Corporation decides to keep menace at alms' length

Amid talk of child lifters and the begging mafia gaining a foothold here,  the Corporation has decided to impose a blanket ban on begging within the city limits.

Published: 08th February 2018 12:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2018 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

The Kochi Corporation council meeting held on Wednesday | K Shijith

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Amid talk of child lifters and the begging mafia gaining a foothold here,  the Corporation has decided to impose a blanket ban on begging within the city limits.  Mayor Soumini Jain announced the civic body's move in this regard during the discussion held in the council on Wednesday. Ahead of this, the Corporation will convene a joint meeting of the police, health and district  authorities and an action plan will be drawn up on the basis of the decisions taken at the meeting.

The Mayor also assigned the respective standing committees to do the groundwork  for convening the meeting since she will be getting back here only on February 14 from a whirlwind foreign trip. "It is the public which allows the begging mafia to spread its tentacles by offering them money . The public should feel concerned when these kinds of incidents are reported from a different part of the city," Jain said. According to her, the police should take urgent steps to remove the beggars from the city areas. 

Meanwhile, the Mayor also directed the councillors and Standing Committee chiefs to take necessary measures to curb begging in their respective areas with the support of residents’ associations and NGOs. " We will also take steps to construct a night shelter for those who sleep on the roadside. A survey report in this regard will be out soon,"  she said. While participating in the discussion, Opposition councillor  V P Chandran said the civic body should launch the state government's 'Sarana Balyam'  initiative  launched to rescue  children from child labour and begging.

LDF's chorus of protest against KVP
The LDF councillors in the city Corporation on Wednesday called for the ouster of  UDF councillor K V P Krishnakumar aka KVP, who was among the seven arrested on the charge of showing disrespect to artist Asanthan's body, as Tax and Appeal Committee chairperson. It was K J Prakasan who demanded an apology from Krishnakumar. Though the council witnessed noisy scenes, the tempers cooled following a clarification from the embattled councillor. According to Krishnakumar, he never showed disrespect to anyone in his public life. "

I reached the Durbar Hall after coming to know of the issue. Since I am representing the division it was my duty to address the issue. I  merely tried to resolve the issue and there was no prejudice on my part," said KVP, who was close to tears before the council.  He said he was being hounded through the social media   " Several persons abused me through the social media. The police made me an accused in the case for no fault of mine," KVP said.

Vyttila flyover
Despite Works Minister G Sudhakaran's insistence on sticking to the current design for the Vyttila flyover, the Corporation passed a resolution in the council urging the state government to effect necessary changes to the Vyttila flyover design as suggested by Metroman E Sreedharan. However, the Leader of Opposition said the Corporation move will only help to  slow down the project. " It was during the previous UDF Government's tenure the DPR( detailed project report) got approved. The Mayor too had  attended the stone laying ceremony. If they had no issues then,  what is the big deal now?" said K J Antony.

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