CUTTACK: Chaos ensued at the 19th council meeting of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Monday after the Congress and BJP corporators created a ruckus over various issues compelling the authorities to cancel the meeting. The Congress and BJP corporators then staged a dharna in the meeting hall protesting the cancellation.
As the meeting started, Congress corporator Santosh Bhola raised questions over irregularities in the allotment of ‘Pindi’ vending unit to vegetable vendors in the newly inaugurated Urban Haat. “The civic body authorities had formed a 19-member committee for allotment of pindis. However, they went ahead and allotted pindis to vendors arbitrarily without waiting for the committee's decision,” Bhola alleged.
His party counterpart Subhasish Patnaik had sought clarification as to why the CMC authorities were not providing information under the RTI Act. “I had sought information on manpower provided by Swarna Devi Agency from the establishment section. But, the section replied that it has no information on it. How it is possible to pay the outsourcing agency without having information on the manpower which has been provided by the agency,” questioned Patnaik.
BJP corporator Gagan Ojha also sought clarification on corruption in Hadia Patha land, mosquito menace, and income and expenditure of last year’s Baliyatra festival. While deputy commissioner Anita Patra expressed her inability to answer the question with a clarification that she was assigned with the work recently, there was a heated exchange between her and Congress corporators. As corporators continued to insist on their demand for clarification on the issue and created a ruckus, Mayor Subhas Singh, commissioner Nikhil Pawan Kalyan, and other officials left the house at noon.
After 15 minutes, when Singh declared that the council meeting was canceled, both Congress and BJP corporators sat on a dhana protesting the autocratic attitude of CMC authorities.“We will continue our dharna till the mayor and commissioner clarify as to why they canceled the council meeting,” said Ojha.
CMC mayor Subhas Singh, however, said he was compelled to cancel the meeting as the Opposition corporators misbehaved with the lady deputy collector.