KOCHI: Even as complaints galore against the ambiguities in the Coastal Regulation Zone norms and the difficulties faced by common people in the CRZ areas, Mayor Soumini Jain has agreed to take up the matter with Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority to minimise the delay in getting building plans approved.
During a corporation council meeting on Thursday, both ruling and Opposition councillors raised the issue of CRZ norms affecting the common man and sought immediate steps to address the grievance.
Replying to the debate, Ms. Jain said that the civic administration was unable to provide exemption from the Union government’s CRZ norms. “However, the civic body can resolve the issue of indefinite delay from the part of KCZMA in getting the building plans approved,” she said.
Opposition leader K.J. Antony urged the council to seek special status to Kochi, considering the presence of vast areas of backwaters and canals, and special powers to the corporation council regarding exemption from CRZ rules.
The Opposition also demanded exemption of houses constructed under PMRY scheme. “While the big builders and corporates are given concession from the rules, the common people are being victimized,” Mr Antony observed.
However, the Mayor refuted any favouritism by the civic body saying that it was the state government which had exempted the big apartment complex near Goshree bridge from the CRZ norms as part of Goshree Island Development Authority’s infra projects.
The council members also expressed concern over the National Green Tribunal’s order against the proposed Mundamveli sewage treatment plant to which Ms. Jain has promised to convene a meeting of KSUDP top officials to decide the future course of action.
Councillors Elizabeth teacher and P.J. Joseph raised the extensive misuse of public water taps and leakages in KWA pipeline network. As many of the councillors sought elimination of public taps from areas where all residents have domestic connection, the Mayor asked them to submit a letter to the KWA. Ms. Jain has also agreed to convene a meeting of KWA officials to resolve the leakage in the distribution network.
The Mayor will also meet Kochi Metro Limited authorities to seek immediate measures for drain cleaning along Metro corridor before the onset of monsoon. “A joint inspection will be conducted to apprise the Metro agency of the bad condition of drains along SA Road and MG Road,” she said.
The other topics debated in the council meeting include shortage of health workers, lapses in waste movement to Brahmapuram, difficulties in disbursement of old age pension and water logging along Metro corridor....