PUDUCHERRY: The ruling Congress had some embarrassing moments in the Assembly on Monday when one of its own MLAs, M N R Bhalan, accused the government of widespread corruption before staging a walkout expressing dissatisfaction over the reply given by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy. Another party MLA, N Dhanavelu, too said that the chief minister’s reply was contrary to the facts. He blamed the government for failing to provide land for a burial ground, due to the nexus with the owner of a bar operating on the land.
Replying to a question from Bhalan on the setting up of a private boat house in Chunamber during the question hour in the Assembly, the chief minister said that in order to promote adventure tourism activities and water sports to attract more tourists, and to generate direct revenue to the government, as done in other states, the tourism department had taken a decision to allow private operators to operate water sports in the UT. Ten companies have presented their proposal to the government and four were shortlisted, he said. “Out of that, one was selected and has been asked to get approval from various departments.”
When Bhalan asked whether any policy decision had been taken to set up a private boat house, the chief minister said that no permission was given and the Tourism department had issued only support letter to private firms to set up water adventure, land adventure sports and scuba diving activities. The final permission would be issued once the guideline is approved by the government, he added. However Bhalan faulted a Tourism department official by stating that he had given the nod to go ahead on his own, without a policy decision by the government.
The MLA alleged irregularities in promoting the private boat house as a private party had allegedly encroached government poromboke land and demanded an inquiry into it. The chief minister replied that it was only an in-principle approval and final approval would be based on the guidelines. Not satisfied with the reply, Bhalan staged a walk out after blaming the government.