KOCHI:Amid strong protests from the Opposition, the Kochi Corporation Council on Tuesday decided to issue cinematography licence to the 11-screen multiplex theatre at Centre Square Mall at M G Road.
After holding a stormy council session, Mayor Tony Chammany said the Corporation Secretary would issue the licence as per an order issued by the High Court.
However, the Opposition councillors gave a dissent note in this regard, saying that the licence was approved per the ruling Front’s decision. “The proposed multiplex is set up on the top floor of the mall - at a height of more than 30 metres. As per the Building Act, the structure has been built above the permissible height. Moreover, while submitting the application for building licence, the builders had stated they were constructing a dormitory on the top floor. But, now they have constructed a multiplex, violating the actual plan. Meanwhile, the Fire Safety officer has not issued no-objection certificate (NOC) for the structure, considering safety issues. The Corporation cannot issue cinematography licence for film screening, without NOC from the Fire and Rescue Service Department,” said Opposition councillors M P Mahesh Kumar and C A Shakkeer.
The mayor in his reply said the Council had no right to deny issuance of licence as the Court had given approval for it, with certain conditions. “The petitioner has obtained a Court order that clearly states that the Corporation Secretary was free to issue cinematography licence provisionally, without insisting on NOC,” said the Mayor. At the meeting, it was also decided to avail a `10-crore loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited for construction of the new Corporation office near the Goshree bridge.
“It is one of the projects that needs to be completed on a war footing. We have already paid a part bill for `6 crore,” added the mayor.
Unruly scenes at council meeting
The Council meeting, meanwhile, witnessed unruly scenes after ruling Front Councillor Premkumar criticised Opposition Councillor N A Shafeek’s remarks against Education Standing Committee chairman R Thyagarajan.Shafeek had left the Council hall before the incident, alleging that the Mayor had taken an undemocratic stance against him.