Corporation seeks govt. nod to set up sewage treatment plants

Facilities expected to come up at Kothi, Avikkalthode in city

The Kozhikode Corporation has sought government approval for setting up sewage treatment plants at two locations within the city by spending ₹178 crore under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme, amid objections raised by the Opposition over the project cost exceeding 50% of the detailed project report.

After Opposition councillors expressed their disagreement, the issue had to be put to vote by Deputy Mayor Meera Darshak, who was in the chair at the council meeting held on Wednesday.

The government’s permission will be sought to give the tender to Midland Engineering and Constructing Company, the lowest bidder. The plants are expected to come up at Kothi and Avikkalthode in the city. Vidya Balakrishnan of the Congress, however, alleged foul play in the decision to grant the contract to the company, raising doubts about the second bidder. The Opposition sought floating of another global tender. The ruling front did not budge, pointing out that cost escalation was natural in such projects.

Pact to be signed

The council decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation for a ₹47.5-lakh project to install and maintain street lights in the city for 10 years. The government had earlier approved the project. Meanwhile, Opposition councillors pointed out that 75% of street lights in the city were not functional now and they cannot wait until the installation of new lights. To this, T.V. Lalithaprabha, chairman, standing committee on public works, replied that a survey was being undertaken in different wards, which would be completed by December 10. As a temporary measure, ₹5 lakh would be granted to install street lights before the launch of the new project, she added.

The council decided to devise a scheme to renovate the Central Market and crematoriums in the city by including it in the Kerala Investment and Infrastructure Fund Board-sanctioned projects. Two companies would be asked to prepare detailed projects. The Opposition objected to the tabling of the proposal bypassing the scrutiny of standing committees. The ruling front claimed this was to ensure 100% subsidy.

The council passed a quality standards policy to ensure time-bound services to the citizens and appoint an information technology officer.

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