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Sparks may soon fly between city Mayor, Commissioner

PANAJI: Sparks could soon fly between City Mayor Surendra Furtado and newly appointed Commissioner of the Corporation of the City of Panaji Deepak Desai, with lack of communication between the two over many projects being one of the major reasons.

The City Mayor expressed resentment over the act of the CCP Commissioner as regards directly approaching the department of urban development with a city-based developmental project without taking the 30-member CCP council into confidence.

“The CCP Commissioner along with city MLA Sidharth Kunkalienkar has placed Rs 37.42 crore worth project, including three proposals before the department of urban development to receive administrative approval as well as approval from the expenditure finance committee, under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) Mission, for Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC),” Furtado said, stating that neither he, nor the CCP council has been intimated about the same.

Incidentally, Kunkalienkar is the vice-chairman of the GSIDC.

The three proposals in the particular project submitted to the department of urban development are about beautification and pedestrianisation of Café Bhosle Square, beautification of beach front promenade at Miramar, and rejuvenation of Mandovi river promenade from Children’s Park to Youth Hostel Miramar, amounting Rs 7.70 crore, Rs 14.61 crore and Rs 15.11 crore, respectively.

Speaking further, the City Mayor said that another project as regards preparing People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) and City Biodiversity Index (CBI) for Panaji city, and a Smart City Initiative-related summit on the theme ‘Smart Cities in the Era of Digital India’ to be held in Panaji are handled by the GSIDC. “It is strange but true that the GSIDC is handling all events related to the CCP, while the CCP is only getting blamed for city flooding” he quipped, pointing out that the GSIDC, by way of incomplete Miramar-Dona Paula road and under-construction of the third Mandovi bridge is actually responsible for flooding the Miramar and Patto areas, respectively.

Furtado also came out heavily against the department of municipal administration stating that it is sitting on at least three important proposals of the CCP while citing shortage of staff as the reason for the same. “We had forwarded a proposal to the department as regards creation of CCP’s Technical Cell so crucial for the Smart City Initiative. However, it is stuck for long now,” he said, maintaining that another proposal about payment of rent along with the interest to the owner of the land used as a Hindu crematorium, as per the court order, and yet another proposal linked to the honorarium of CCP councillors are awaiting their fate,” he noted.

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