The tussle between the mayor and the commissioner of the civic body on Friday over the video recording of the sixth special meeting of the empowered standing committee this fiscal prompted its cancellation.
Claiming that the tariff (Rs 3,500) fixed for recording the proceedings was inflated, Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) mayor Afzal Imam expressed his reservation over the initiative. Commissioner Kuldip Narayan, on the other hand, was adamant on recording the meeting on video for transparency. The standoff prompted the cancellation of the meeting, convened to finalise the strategy to keep the city clean during Durga Puja.
Narayan later held parleys with some senior officials of the civic body on undertaking the sanitation work during the festive season.
Mayor Imam told The Telegraph: “The panel members are of the view that the rate of video recording — Rs 3,500 per meeting — is inflated. But the commissioner is adamant on not revising it. In the absence of any consensus between the two sides, the meeting was cancelled on Friday.”
Several members of the standing committee claimed that there was no need of recording the meetings on video. “If the commissioner thinks there are shortcomings in the way the meetings are conducted, he can appoint a stenographer to note down the proceedings with the money he wants to spend on video recording. The cabinet meetings are never recorded on video. So, how can the commissioner ask for recording the standing committee meetings?” asked Abha Lata, a member of the panel and the councillor of ward No. 4.
Commissioner Narayan, on the other hand, said: “The meets should be recorded because my statements were earlier manipulated in the written proceedings of the meetings. The payment for video recording is made through cheques to ensure transparency. I am not at all adamant on the rate. If the standing committee members want to reduce it, they are free to do so but they should first allow the recording of the meetings.”
Additional municipal commissioner (in-charge), revenue and sanitation, Sheshank Shekhar Sharma said there would be a dedicated labour and sanitation worker to remove garbage from each pandal.