KOCHI: An emergency meeting of the Corporation Council held on Wednesday discussed the timely implementation of the projects included under the annual plan.
According to Mayor Soumini Jain, “It were the changes in the government guidelines on plan project implementation which resulted in the delay. We hope the government will give an extension of a few more months to utilise the funds effectively”.
In fact,the Mayor convened the Council following the Opposition allegation regarding the slow pace of the plan fund allocation. Moreover,the Opposition members claimed a mere 20 per cent of the plan allocation for the last financial year(FY) had been utilised.
For conceiving the projects to be presented at the Development Seminar scheduled for April 10, the working groups will meet on March 18 and the ward sabhas will be convened between March 20-31.
The Opposition councillors brought up the issue of coliform bacteria being found in ‘Kochi Water’, marketed jointly by the city Corporation and the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC).
In her reply, Jain said she suspected a conspiracy by the packaged drinking water lobby to sabotage the ‘Kochi Water’ project.
“Kochi Water’ is being sold at an affordable price--just `20 for 20 l-- and this may have impacted the business of the private packaged drinking water companies, which sell water at prices several times the rate,” the Mayor said.
The `25 crore project followed an agreement inked between the Corporation and the KSWDC. The drinking water facility at Edappally is being run by the Kudumbashree workers while the maintenance is the responsibility of the KSWDC,” she said.
Besides, the Council meeting urged the government to review the financial allocation for providing drinking water supply with the help of the water tankers. The Councillors said the government order restricting the funds for water supply provided through the tanker lorries to `15 lakh till March-end and `20 lakh for the next two months were insufficient for the purpose.