KOZHIKODE: Kozhikode Municipal Corporation is yet to take action against the staff who were accused of tampering with the streetlight contract signed by the civic body with a private firm. Despite the Mayor asking the Corporation Secretary to take action and submit a report within 10 days, it has not been submitted. However, it is learnt that the charge memo to those accused would be given soon. Kozhikode Corporation's council meeting on March 21 witnessed untoward incidents including gheraoing of Mayor Thottathil Raveendran, exchange of slurs and scuffles between the councillors of the opposition and ruling front over the controversial streetlight contract.
The contract signed between the Corporation and a private firm became controversial after it was found that the MoU signed was different from what the 'expression of interest' said and also from what the Council had approved. The measurements of the advertisements boards allowed in the streetlight poles had changed in favour of the contractor and instead of the clause that the advertisements could be put on newly erected streetlight poles only, it also allowed them to use the existing poles near the Beach.
After the opposition bought this irregularity to the notice of the Council, Mayor Thottathil Raveendran assigned the Corporation Secretary to submit a report. The report tabled in the Council by Corporation Secretary Mrunmai Joshi Sashank found that the Deputy Secretary, Revenue Officer, Superintendent and Section Clerk were guilty of dereliction of duty. Speaking to DC, Mayor Thottathil Raveendran said that the charge memo was yet to be given and another 15 days was required, according to the Kerala State & Subordinate Service Rules. "While directing the Secretary in the Council, I thought that seven days is required to give the charge memo and to get a reply. However, later I realised 15 days required," he said. "We have to follow the rules, otherwise the disciplinary action will not stand if they approach the court," he added.