Opposition trains its guns at Mayor
By Express News Service - KOCHI
09th November 2012 09:06 AM
Tightening the noose around the ruling front for alleged irregularities in the ‘advertisement on lamp posts’ deal, the Opposition councillors will stage a dharna in front of the Corporation office on Friday. However, the Mayor, who decided to go for a Vigilance probe into the issue, is brushing aside the allegations as politically motivated.
“Our demand for a vigilance probe is not politically motivated. The Mayor’s statement that he only asked for a Vigilance probe is also not true. The Mayor was forced to opt for the Vigilance probe at the council meeting held on November 5 because of the strong protest from the Opposition and some councillors from the ruling front,” said Opposition councillor C I Shakeer.
He said that the AIYF moved the Vigilance Court on October 18. The court, after examining the documents, ordered an inquiry on November 5.
“The Mayor even failed to initiate steps to reclaim `1.14 crore from the private agency which collected the charges for displaying advertisements without renewing the agreement,” he said.
According to the Opposition, the Town Planning Committee had committed grievous fault by giving rights to a private agency to place advertisements on lamp posts.
“As per the agreement, the agency was supposed to collect charges for a period ending on March 2012. But the contract was not renewed and the agency was again given permission to collect fees from advertisers. The civic body has incurred huge loss. A huge conspiracy between some Town Planning officials and political leaders is behind the corruption,” alleged Shakkeer.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tony Chammany said the civic body had always been transparent in its administration and the Town Planning and Finance Standing committees had suspended two officials held responsible for the loss.
The Opposition will stage the dharna in front of the Corporation office from 10 am to 2 pm, demanding the resignation of Mayor and the Town Planning Committee chairman. “Both the Mayor and the Town Planning Committee chairman cannot escape the responsibility of causing loss to the Corporation, which is reeling under financial crunch,” said opposition councilor M Anilkumar.
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