The presentation of the list of spillover projects and projects to be abandoned for the city Corporation’s 2022-23 financial year led to heated debates in a council meeting on Monday, with several councillors opposing the dropping of proposed projects from their wards. Mayor Arya Rajendran later clarified that only projects for which no paperwork has been done till now will be dropped, while others can be included on the spillover project list.
As per the list presented by the Development Standing Committee Chairperson L.S. Athira, 148 projects proposed in the previous year were to be dropped. The first voices of concern came from the benches of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), with Vazhuthacaud councillor Rakhi Ravikumar saying that at least two projects in her ward which are close to the execution stage have been wrongly included on the list.
Some of the welfare projects have been dropped with the reasoning that there are not enough beneficiaries, while some others could not be executed because of the COVID-19 situation. But, councillors said that some of the projects for which ‘site dispute’ has been cited as a reason for dropping have been wrongly included. The opposition councillors of the BJP and the UDF said that they did not get enough time to study the lists as it was provided to them in the middle of the council meeting.
Ms. Athira said that none of the projects which can be executed have been removed. Councillors can give a list of projects which can be continued next year through the appropriate standing committee for inclusion on the spillover list. Those projects that did not take off at all can be considered during the upcoming working group discussions for next year’s plan, she said.
Delay in Smart Road
UDF councillor Johnson Joseph raised concerns regarding the delay in the execution of Smart City projects, especially the Smart Road works. He said that people have been put to immense difficulties due to the roadworks which have been ongoing for several months. Earlier in the day, the BJP had organised a protest against the delay in completion of Smart Road works. BJP councillor V.G. Girikumar demanded an investigation into the fund utilisation for the project.