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Pandemonium in Corporation council meet

Staff Reporter

Move to award contract to maintain underground drainage scheme sparks row



All fingers pointing at the chair: Members having a heated argument with the Mayor, A. Jayarani, at the Corporation council meeting held in Tirunelveli on Wednesday.

TIRUNELVELI: : A proposal to award a five-year contract for maintenance of underground drainage system, worth Rs.2.50 crores, to a particular construction company triggered furore in the Tirunelveli Corporation council meeting held here on Wednesday.

As councillors of the Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, vehemently opposing the controversial proposal, laid siege to the Mayor, A. Jayarani, absolute pandemonium prevailed in the hall. However, the mayor, with the help of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members passed all the proposals placed before the council, including the controversial one.

As the council meeting commenced after observing a two-minute silence to condole the death of Pope John Paul II, S. S. Mohammed Maideen of DMK condemned the move to award the contract to maintain the Rs.52 crore-worth underground drainage system to a private construction company since it had only been hired as a sub-contractor by the TWAD Board, which was implementing the project.

Moreover, he also said there was no need to finalise the contract on maintenance at this stage as the TWAD had completed only 75 per cent of the work. "We, the councillors of all political parties, are not satisfied with the manner in which the project is being implemented. The construction materials being used in the UGD scheme are of poor quality. Hence the contract should not go in favour of the private company as mentioned in the proposal, which should be withdrawn forthwith," he said.

As heated arguments between the councillors and the Mayor were going on, she suddenly said that the proposal was adopted, triggering wild hue and cry in the hall.

The members of Congress and DMK rushed to the Mayor's chair and surrounded her.

She asked the Congress member, Vijayan, and DMK members, Maideen and Navaneethan, to leave the hall immediately as he reportedly abused her.

But the trio chose to remain inside the hall, forcing her to suspend them for the next three meetings.

Since the stalemate continued, Ms. Jayarani, with the support of her party councillors, adopted all the proposals without any debate.

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