January 29, 2022 5:57:18 am
Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) unpaid debt that runs over Rs 1,000 crore would not cause any delay in payment of salaries and pensions to current and retired employees of the civic body, Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Friday.
His statement comes after a notice that has allegedly been doing rounds on social media claimed that the “payment of pension and Pensionary benefits (to retired employees who have been superannuated from September 2021) are not currently released due to crisis of funds.” A copy of the notice was also put up at the premises of the KMC headquarters.
Addressing the press at the first monthly session of the KMC board after the recently concluded civic elections on Friday, Hakim said, “The notice that has been circulating in media and social platforms isn’t issued by the KMC. The Municipal Commissioner has been told to find out who is behind it and action will be taken against the person.” Right before the session started, Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Sajal Ghosh started protesting over the issue and raised the slogan “No pension, no KMC”.
However, once the session started, Hakim said that the notice, which caused so much fuss, was circulated by someone from the opposition with the aim to disrespect municipal authorities. He did not take any names.
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Talking about KMC’s debt burden, Hakim said that the civic body is making efforts to reduce its expenses in order to pay off the piling debt.
The mayor also said that there was a growing concern over old houses in the city that were dangerous to live in. He said that the KMC will consult the West Bengal Urban Development Department to decide the action that could be taken against the owners of such houses. He also expressed his concern about the rising instances of illegal construction in the city.
“It is a crime and strict measures will be taken to stop illegal construction. There are some wards, including 108 and 109, that are in need of development for which specific plans are being made,” Hakim added.
The KMC has also decided to name a road in the city’s Ballygunge area after its former mayor and state minister Subrata Mukherje. The civic agency also plans to set up a museum in his name. “I welcome this proposal. I had started under the guidance of Subrata Mukherjee. I still feel thankful that I was his colleague. I have huge respect for him,” said Hakim.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Councillor Sudarshana Mukherjee put forward a proposal to rename a road after the former mayor in her ward number 2 during Friday’s session.
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