KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation council witnessed a stormy session on Tuesday with the Opposition coming down against the ruling council alleging ‘administrative failure’.
According to the Opposition, the Kochi corporation was a total failure in implementing the development projects in the city. Opposition leader KJ Antony who unleashed the attack against the corporation said the civic body, during the tenure of UDF administration, lapsed around Rs 181.7 crore in the past five years.
“Plan fund utilisation is one of the prime responsibilities of the local body. But Kochi Corporation proved they are an utter failure in this.
During the 2016-17 financial year, the ruling council could spend only Rs 65 crore out of the allocated Rs 124 crore. They also lapsed over Rs 4 crore in the 2017-18 financial year. The corporation already lapsed Rs 36 crore in the current financial year. It is crystal clear the corporation does not want to see any development projects in the city,” said Antony during the council discussion.
V P Chandran, Opposition councillor, said the developmental activities for the Scheduled Castes also failed to take off. “As per the plan expenditure report, the corporation has failed to implement around Rs 36 crore development projects between 2011 and 2016. Several projects are still in the cold storage. If the Mayor can’t implement the developmental project, she should resign,” said Chandran.
They said the android application for septic waste collection announced by the corporation is an eyewash. “The much-hyped Ro-Ro (Roll on-Roll off) is another example of the corporation’s failure. Even after six months of launching it, the full-fledged operation still remains a distant dream. The second vessel – Sethusagar II – has been docked at Cochin Shipyard for repairs after its propeller got damaged. The
Cochin Shipyard has informed the repairing cost will be Rs 20 lakh,” said the Opposition leader.
However, Deputy Mayor T J Vinodh defending the opposition’s stand said the government’s guidelines also played a major role. “If earlier we could have used the plan fund up to March 31, now the government changed it to December. This is also reflected in the plan fund utilisation,” said Vinodh.
Mayor Soumini Jain said the corporation has to provide the repairing cost of Rs 20 lakh to the CSL. “It is not a profit-making service. We will check with the insurance company to claim the repairing cost,” said the Mayor refuting all the allegations.
However, the Opposition walked out from the council session alleging administrative breakdown in the civic body. “We are not satisfied with the Mayor’s reply,” said K J Antony as he came out of the Corporation council hall.
Uniform fee structure for crematoriums
The Kochi Corporation has decided to implement a uniform fee structure in crematoriums. The decision was taken after the corporation received several complaints about charging exorbitant prices. “Each crematorium has a different fee structure for performing the last rites. It cannot be accepted at any cost. We have already decided to bring this uniform price,” the Mayor said. All the crematoriums under the Corporation will charge a uniform fee. The charge for cremating the body will be displayed.