With the Tony Chammany-led Kochi Corporation Council completing three years, an analysis of the administrative achievement certainly shows a mixed graph.
The council meetings and administrative decisions of the Council were frequently affected by the strong protests of the Opposition demanding an inquiry into the alleged corruption charges against the Town Planning Standing Committee and Works Standing Committee. Adding fuel to the fire was the internal feud within the Congress where the I faction took a stand against the Mayor on several occasions at the Council meetings.
Though the Mayor and his team succeeded in addressing issues such as bad roads and poor waste management, nothing much has happened in other sectors, especially in implementing the projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
“The Council led by Tony Chammany is a total failure. Various development projects and welfare measures in all other sectors are at a standstill for the last two years. The Council even failed in addressing the basic issues of the common people like drinking water scarcity and mosquito menace. Projects like waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram, Pachalam ROB, Atlantis ROB and sewage treatment plant at Mundamveli remain only on paper. Even the much talked about projects like e-governance are yet to materialise, though the Centre had already allotted funds for them,” alleged Opposition councillor P S Prakash.
Meanwhile, Opposition councillor M Anilkumar said that the Mayor cannot even take the credit of renovating the roads. “The major roads in the city were renovated by the KMRL as part of the preparatory work for Kochi Metro Rail. Last year, it was the KMRL that cleaned the Thevara-Pernadoor canal. When it comes to the present Council, the major proposals made in the annual budgets of the Corporation in the last three years remain non-starters. The best example is the Cochin First, the concept which was mooted for carrying out development projects on a PPP mode,” he said.
The functioning of the civic body has also been hit by the demand put forth by the I group councillors for reshuffling the Standing Committees. The council procedures frequently interrupted important topics in the agenda that were passed without discussions.
“The project implementation unit of the JNNURM has made serious lapses which resulted in the non-implementation of various projects under the mission. The items on the agenda of the Corporation meetings were passed without discussions, with the Mayor taking decisions unilaterally without consulting the Opposition,” alleged opposition councillor M P Mahesh Kumar.