BJP members walk out in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation over misuse of funds

The BJP councillors alleged misuse of the Rs 4 crore sanctioned for the Aksharasree literacy and equivalency project by the ruling LDF.

Published: 12th July 2018 01:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2018 01:09 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The BJP councillors in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation on Wednesday stormed out of the council meeting alleging misuse of the Rs 4 crore sanctioned for the Aksharasree literacy and equivalency project by the ruling LDF.

“The funds sanctioned for the project are not being used effectively. For instance, during the survey for the project planned on July 14, the councillors have to arrange food for the volunteers. If indeed the councillors have to shell out money for the food from their own pockets, then what has become of the Rs 2.7 crore sanctioned by the Corporation for the project?,” said BJP councillor Giri Kumar.
The Aksharasree project launched by the Corporation and the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) aims to identify illiterate people staying within the Corporation limits, educating them and providing opportunities for continuing education.  

Countering the Opposition charge, Mayor V K Prasanth said,  “The funds have been provided for the implementation of the project and not for the survey. Of the `2.7 crore already sanctioned, buildings have been rented for `90,000 as part of the project. The funds are being utilised by the KSLMA after discussions with the Corporation. It will also address the issue raised by the BJP councillors.” Palayam Rajan, a councillor from Nanthencode, lauded the Corporation for undertaking such an initiative.

“Providing education to people in need is a pretty good initiative by the Corporation. Rather than trying to derive political capital out of it, all the councillors should stand together for the success of the project. The residents’ associations, which are also part of the survey, have taken up the initiative to provide food for these volunteers,” he said.

According to S Unnikrishnan, education standing committee chairman, “ raising a hue and cry over not arranging food doesn’t make any sense. The project’s success will bring credit to the Corporation and not to any one party”.

Interestingly, the UDF councillors said they did not intend to make a political issue out of the whole episode. The wards are geared up for the survey which will begin at 8.30 am on July 14.  The Corporation has arranged vehicles for the volunteers in every ward.

At the meet, the Mayor also declared the civic body is planning to provide monthly pension to the beneficiaries of old age and widow pension schemes. The issue of providing NOC to the citizens residing in the vicinity of the Trivandrum International Airport was also discussed at the meet. On this, Prasanth said all applications are being considered and the Corporation will take up the issue at the next council meeting.     

Aksharasree
The Aksharasree project launched by the Corporation and the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority aims to identify illiterate people staying within the Corporation limits, educating them and providing opportunities for continuing education.

The BJP charge
The funds for the project are not being used effectively. For instance, during the survey for the project planned on July 14, the councillors have to arrange food for the volunteers. If indeed the councillors have to shell out money for the food from their own pockets, then what has become of the D2.7 crore sanctioned.

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