KAKKANAD: Even though Thrikkakara has much to boast of when compared to other municipalities in the state, the factional feuds between Congress A and I groups over the Works Standing Committee chairperson seem to hinder its developmental activities.
Kakkanad which is a landmark of Thrikkakara Municipality can be proud of Cochin Special Economic Zone, Carborundum Universal Ltd and the proposed fashion city.
Being the IT hub of Kochi, it has the second largest IT Industrial park, Infopark, and also the Smart City. But, the factional feuds in the party are an impediment to development of the IT hub.
The feuds kicked off with the expulsion of I group leader Ajitha Thankappan from the post of Works Standing Committee chairperson through a no confidence motion passed by the A group.
As per the discussions held by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Thrikkakara MLA Benny Behanan, KPCC secretary Thampanoor Ravi, the group leader had agreed to give the seat to the A group with the handing over of chairman seat to Shaji Vazhakkala. But the I group failed to adhere to the decision and subsequently the A group moved a no confidence motion.
“When the party intervened in the matter, the A-group turned losers although the I-group had flouted the party decision,” said Ajith Babu who recently resigned from the Development Standing Committee chairperson’s post to mark his protest against the party leadership’s stand on factional feuds.
The scuffle also led to heated debates and chaos in the council instead of coming up with development projects. People pointed their fingers at Thrikkakara MLA Benny Behanan for it. Instead of resolving the issues pertaining to his constituency, it is alleged that he keeps a distance from them by keeping away from his constituency.
“The fact is that the MLA is not willing to intervene in the matter despite being asked several times,” said Ajith.
Some leaders in the council also alleged that even the decision regarding the Standing Committee chairman was taken with Benny Behanan’s nod as he has some vested interest in it to safeguard his vote bank.
Meanwhile, the CPM also raised allegations against the MLA for not resolving the potable water and waste management issues of the municipality.
M E Hassainar, CPM leader and the former panchayat president of Thrikkakara for 15 years, said the MLA has not initiated any pilot project in the municipality.
“All the initiatives were taken by us. Lakhs of people are struggling for drinking water and the demand is rising by the day owing to the inflow of migrant workers but the MLA is not aware of the people’s needs,” said Hassainar.
He said the MLA was yet to look into the materialisation of the Kadambrayar drinking water project. “Besides, he has not taken an initiative to set up a decentralised waste treatment plant in the municipality,” he said.
Though the MLA assured the people that potholes along the Athani road would be filled and tiles paved, nothing has been done so far.
“The MLA is playing hide and seek with people. The people staged protests against the upcoming shopping-cum-office mall of RBDCK at Collectorate signal junction, but the MLA remained a spokesperson of the authorities. If the building comes up at the junction, expansion plans will remain on paper. A flyover has to be built in the area instead of a shopping mall which would create only traffic hurdles,” said K A Mohanan, councillor and a CPM local leader.
But Benny Behnan refuted the allegations.
“The allegations are baseless. Thrikkakara is making strides and I am ready for a debate on it. I took charge as MLA three years ago and even before that the Athani road was in need of repairs. We had started paving tiles but it was stopped because of the PWD strike. We have already prepared a master plan for Thrikkakara,” he said.