Survey on grand canal encroachments

Survey on grand canal encroachments

Mayor Bhaskar K chairs the Mangaluru City Corporation meeting on Thursday. Deputy Mayor Muhammed K and Commissioner B A Muhammed Nazir look on.

Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner B A Muhammed Nazir said that a committee, headed by deputy commissioner, has released its interim report wherein the MCC has been told to conduct a comprehensive survey on the encroachment of grand canals.

Appropriate action will be initiated as per the survey findings accordingly. A total of 12 grand canals come under MCC limits, he said.

His response came in the wake of the topic of artificial floods raised by the Opposition members in MCC council, during the general meeting on Thursday.

Opposition Member Premanand Shetty said that the main reason for the flood was the lapse by the local administration in constructing the stormwater drains. Also, the UGD works, taken up under the ADB project, have gone wrong. A scientific survey is needed in this regard, he added.

Member Dayanand Shetty said the grand canals in the city have been encroached upon by influential people. The MCC should initiate strict action against them, he demanded.

Opposition Member Madhukar alleged that MUDA officials are hand-in-glove with the wrongdoers and are flouting the regulations with respect to storm water drains.

Former Mayor Mahabala Marla too pointed out at the inefficiency of MCC officials in the failure of stormwater drain system.

He wanted to know what MUDA does with the development charges it collects while issuing site approval.

Several other members suggested initiating permanent measures to put an end to artificial flood situation.

Opposition member Vijaykumar Shetty sought to know the measures taken by MCC against Antony Waste Management for the lapse of work.

Commissioner B A Muhammed Nazir said that the MCC will not succumb to the blackmail tactics by Antony Waste Management company. As per the contract with MCC, the company workers cannot go on strike if the payment is delayed. If the strikes happen in future, stern measure such as termination of contract will be initiated, he added.

Nazir said that the MCC has handed over the job of solid waste collection and management to two private firms. Antony Waste Management Pvt Ltd has been carrying out door-to-door collection of waste while Unique Waste Processing has been doing the waste management at Pacchanadi dumping yard, he added.

The MCC is paying around 2.25 crore to Antony Waste per month and Unique waste processing company is being paid Rs 22 lakh per month, he said.

The company had earlier gone on a strike, demanding additional payment towards workers’ salary escalation, to an extent of Rs 5 crore, apart from minimum wages. However, the Urban Development Department has clarified that the minimum wages do not apply in this context. The company is also imposed with a penalty by MCC for lapse of duties, the commissioner said.

Payments from MCC to the company have been cleared till April 2018. The outstanding payment, including the arrears is Rs 7.70 crore, he added.

Corporator Deepak Poojary drew the attention of the meeting towards the discontinuation of service at MangaloreOne centres and said that the citizens have been struggling to pay bills.

The commissioner said that measures will be taken to collect bills at selected bank branches.

Bhaskar K chaired his first ever meeting after taking over as the mayor.

Deputy Mayor Muhammed K, Standing Committee chairpersons Latha Salian, Praveenchandra Alva, Navin R D’Souza and Radhakrishna were present.

Mangaluru South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath and Mangaluru North MLA Dr Y Bharat Shetty took part in the meeting.