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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ruckus in council over land allotment: Kozikhode


Mayor, Opposition differ over site for model anganwadi


A meeting of the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation Council ended in chaos on Wednesday with the Opposition councillors staging a protest against putting on hold an item on the agenda allotting land to an anganwadi.

The item number 38 of the agenda was regarding allotting 10 cents of Corporation land to develop a model anganvadi at Eravathukunnu. The anganwadi is now functioning from a rented building in Kommeri ward. The item was put on hold on Wednesday on the grounds that 10 cents was not necessary for an anganwadi building. The Opposition councillors alleged that Mayor A.K. Premajam was pursuing a personal vendetta against Kommeri councillor Kavitha Arun, who had pointed out a land for the model anganwadi in her own ward. 

Though the council sanctioned the idea, the land later turned out to be in possession of the ITI. Later, the Mayor identified another land, which was occupied by the family of a freedom fighter, including a physically challenged person and an elderly woman.

The local people stopped the city Corporation’s attempts to displace them. The land identified by Ms. Arun was close to the one Mayor had identified, though in another ward. Ms. Arun’s idea got the approval of the Welfare Standing Committee but when the issue came to the council, it was put on hold, she alleged.

Exemption received

The Mayor later clarified that the land she had identified for the model anganwadi was already approved by the State government.

“We did not plan to evacuate the people who occupied the land. We only considered 7.5 cents or the total 11 cents, excluding their house, for the anganwadi building. I even gained an exemption for the 10-cent rule. Since only one model anganwadi is allowed per constituency, the one in Kommeri ward cannot be made one and hence could not be allotted more than 2 cents of land,” the Mayor clarified. 

Amidst the ruckus the council passed the rest of the agenda and two motions, one of which urged the State government to simplify the questionnaire for ration card renewal while another demanded immediate repair works on the bridge on Vengerikkode- Kannadikkal road. 

Source: The Hindu, 5th Feb 2015

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