'Two' many openings! - The New Indian Express

'Two' many openings!

Published: 22nd November 2013 11:32 AM

Last Updated: 22nd November 2013 11:32 AM

Coming week, the Muttathara sewage-cum-septage treatment plant will be the venue of a dramatic set of events, a double climax, so to say. Probably, a first of its kind. In an interval of two days, the plant will be inaugurated twice! While the first one is sponsored by the civic body, the following one is a state government affair.

An early announcement came from the government and citing the reason that the City Corporation was not intimated about it, the latter set its own inaugural function two days ahead for the same plant.

While the government programme will see Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating the plant on Wednesday, the Corporation’s event will have none other than Mayor K Chandrika opening the same facility on Monday. Also present at the Corporation’s function will be MLAs, former minister V Surendran Pillai, M Vijayakumar, former Mayor Jayan Babu, standing committee chairpersons and councillors. No ministers will be present. The reason for holding the function is that the government had not held discussions with the Corporation over fixing a date for the inauguration. For the same reason, the other day, the Mayor and LDF councillors had boycotted the meeting called by the government for the formation of an organising committee for the inaugural function.

“The plant has been set up on Corporation land. Right from the start of the construction in 2011, 51 meetings have been called by us to monitor the activities and solve the problems. It was only after Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali visited the plant two days ago and announced the date of the inauguration that a letter was sent to me,” said Chandrika.

The civic authorities also aired their resentment over taking away the Corporation’s right to host the event and select the invitees. The Mayor also expressed displeasure over the fact that no Minister had visited the site or monitored the activities during the construction phase and alleged that the government had taken no measures to speed up the work.

The plant has been on a trial run since June this year.

BJP’s stand

The BJP councillors in the council blamed the government for expediting the inaugural function of the plant in view of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“A drier has to be set up to dry the sludge collected in the sedimentation tanks. If this cannot be put in place, procedures to hand over the sludge to farms such as in Agriculture University have to be completed. The City Corporation’s plan to set up a garden with medicinal and flower plants has to be realised. The inauguration should have been planned after all these were done,” said BJP leader P Asok Kumar. He said that the BJP will cooperate with the inaugural function organised by the Corporation.

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