KOLKATA: Mayor on Tuesday reached his office at the headquarters on S N Banerjee Road half an hour before his usual schedule. Chatterjee’s absence or irregular presence is being felt at the civic corridors as files of vital policy decisions are piling up. According to a senior civic official, till last weekend more than 600 files had piled up due to mayor’s absence as every file required his signature.
After reaching office, Chatterjee first asked for important files that he would need to sign for a speedy release to various civic departments. According to a source, Chatterjee released around 100 files that needed his urgent intervention. Some of these files comprise policy decisions regarding road maintenance, drainage upgrade and water supply projects. However, a section of KMC officials are apprehensive about the remaining files as they are in dark about the mayor’s daily routine. “The frequency at which the files are getting piled up is a matter of concern. Since mayor’s signature is needed at every step of implementation of a policy decision, we are a bit worried,” a senior KMC official said.
A Trinamool councillor complained that despite several visits to the mayor’s office to get a file signed in past two months, all his attempts failed due to Chatterjee’s absence. “I have been trying in vain to get his nod for sanction of two posts for a cleanliness drive in my locality,” he alleged.
Chatterjee held a high-level meeting with KMC officials and asked them to undertake a comprehensive road-repair drive. Later talking to reporters, Chatterjee said that he was assured about a Rs 70-crore fund from the state government which would be utilized for the overhaul of city’s battered roads. In fact, the KMC has submitted a Rs 264 crore proposal to the state for upgrade of city’s drainage, roads, slum development. The finance department had asked the KMC to return a Rs 300 crore special fund that the state had allocated to the civic body but the latter could not spend it due to technical reasons.
Chatterjee also met a Left Front delegation during the day to discuss infrastructural issues in added areas like , and . A KMC affiliated to the BJP on Tuesday demanded the mayor’s resignation for ignoring civic duties. Ashok Sinha, general secretary of the Shramik Karmachari Sangha, alleged that the mayor was giving more importance to his personal likings over his constitutional duties. Chatterjee, however, said he did not hear about such a demand from the BJP trade union operating in the KMC.
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