Mangaluru, Sep 30, 2016: It is reported that chaos prevails just days after Mangaluru made it to the list of four cities in the State to be developed as ’Smart City’, the ambitious project became a reason for pandemonium at the council meeting of MCC, Mangaluru City Corporation on Sept 29, Thursday.
Hardly had the meet started, Opposition leader in the MCC Roopa D Bangera from the BJP thanked all the elected representatives, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and mainly the people of coastal city, as the city had not been identified in the first list of cities. Corporator Mahabala Marla from the ruling Congress party was miffed at BJP’s claims and expressed a feeling that ’Mangaluru bagged the project this time owing to the influence of MP on urban development ministry’.
Even as Marla was making his point, without taking the name of Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, the peeved BJP corporators raised objections, only to be challenged by the former who showed a copy of a newspaper as reference. The BJP corporators, led by the opposition leader, trooped into the well of the house and registered their protest with the mayor, before returning to their seats. Marla still questioned the veracity behind the MP’s statement that the city will receive Rs 40,000 crore funds in the next 20 years. "The information is misleading as the implementation period of the project is five years. How many times can a person utter lies?" Marla questioned the MP’s statement.
MLC Ivan D’Souza, who was at the meeting, said that the works are yet to commence in the cities identified in the first list. Moreover, following the recent announcement of Mangaluru finding its name in the second list, demands are pouring in to take up various works under the same project.
Later, Mayor K Harinath fretted over the possibility of diversion of regular grants received by the MCC under the 14th Finance Commission, State Finance Commission (SFC) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transport (Amrut) among others towards Smart City. If it becomes a reality, it will be difficult to take up regular works, he added.
The mayor also reminded Roopa Bangera that she did not take the name of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah while expressing gratitude to other leaders for the Smart City project.
Corporators clash, cause MLA’s ’illegal’ building works
In the MCC, ruling Congress and opposition BJP corporators indulged in a wordy duel over the reported construction of a multi-storeyed building by a local legislator at Chokkabettu. At the council meeting held on Thursday, BJP Corporator Madhu Kiran, without taking the name of Mohiuddin Bawa, charged that, "According to a report aired on a vernacular news channel, Mangaluru North MLA is constructing a four-storeyed building at Chokkabettu flouting rules, without taking licence from the city corporation. What were the officials doing... Law is applicable to all..."
Kiran also questioned Mayor K Harinath whether he was aware of illegal construction, while the latter shook his head claiming innocence. Amid this, Congress Corporator Naveen D’Souza advised the mayor to vet into the issue before initiating any action as Bawa was also a member of the council (by virtue of being a local MLA).
K Mohammed also a Congress corporator questioned whether Kiran had taken the licence while constructing his house, only to aggravate ongoing debate. The BJP corporators trooped into the well of the house and sought a reply from an official attached to town planning section. The officer replied in positive saying, "The licence had been taken."
Mayor Harinath clarified that, "Notice has been already served and the work has been stopped", thus bringing an end to arguments.