Oppn Flays Corporation Council
The Corporation budget discussion meet on Wednesday saw the opposition fiercely attacking the budget “calling it lacklustre and callous to the apprehensions and aspirations of Kochiites”, but the members of the ruling council stood behind Deputy Mayor B Bhadra in the discussion.
Opposition leader K J Jacob started the discussion by accusing the ruling council of taking credit for projects sponsored by other agencies. “Roads have been repaired in the city by the Metro authorities. The roads repaired by the Corporation have not lasted for more than a year. Further, the Corporation hardly bothered to maintain major roads in the city such as Thammanam-Pulleppady road and SA Road,” said Jacob.
He pointed out that the civic administration has neither completed the projects promised in the last budget nor allocated any funds in the new budget for completing them. He cited a list of projects to substantiate his argument which included drinking water, e-toilet, road-train-water transport facilities, sewage treatment plant, city development plan and master plan and renovation of Town Hall.
Opposition councillor advocate Sunil Kumar alleged that the budget has shunned the needs of the common man.
“The budget has been silent on the demands of Kudumbashree workers and those associated with waste management. Development of West Kochi is not a concern. The budget is anti-poor,” said Sunil Kumar.
BJP councillor Shyamala Prabhu joined the opposition in attacking the ruling front. She also requested that the division fund for councillors be raised to `1 crore.
The members of the ruling council defended the budget. While Education Standing Committee chairman Thyagarajan praised the budget, other members of the ruling council including Shiji Roy pointed out that the schemes such as renovation of Rameshwaram colony would be beneficial.
Councillors Mahesh Kumar, Mumtaz teacher, Pious Jose, Asha Pious, Sajini Jayachandran, Valsala Kumari and Gracy Joseph, M H M Ashraf, Karmili Antony, Chandrika, Joji Kureekode and Mini Dileep also spoke on the occasion
A Blow to Women
Though the Deputy Mayor had mentioned issues faced by women and certain proposals of the Corporation for their welfare, there was not a single proposal to make Kochi a better place for women.
In the last budget, there was a separate section which dealt with women’s issues.
Though almost all of them remain on paper, the Corporation was able to commence at least one proposal listed under Jaagratha Samithi for women.
The committee was formed just months before the budget and has initiated progressive measures such as conducting women’s adalat. But the Corporation’s silence in this budget about carrying forward those activities were criticised by the councillors.