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Councils delay, code hits

Bhubaneswar, May 3: Work in the civic body of the city and that of Cuttack has come to a standstill as the corporations failed to hold their general council meetings before the model code of conduct came into force on March 5.

No meeting can take place now as long as the model code of conduct remains enforced.

“No work has been done for the past five months. The model code of conduct was first enforced on December 4 as the election process began for the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). There was a delay in holding the general council meetings, and now, the model code of conduct has again come in the way of meetings,” said a councillor.

Commissioners appointed by the state government are now running the show in the corporations.

Election to the BMC was held on January 8, but the election process was over on February 6. In case of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC), the poll process was over on March 2. Bhubaneswar mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said: “Technically, all the councillors had met at the time of election of the deputy mayor.”

Jena also claimed that it had not affected works in the corporation. “We are preparing the budget. It will be implemented once the council approves it.” He said the BMC was busy in various works such as working out the modalities of constituting various standing committees.

On the other hand, sources said the council meeting could not be held between February 6 and March 2 on the instruction of the party high command. The mayor was supervising the CMC election process and other party work. Later, elections to mayor and deputy mayor were held and the process got over on March 2.

BMC councillor Harapriya Sahoo said: “As the general council meeting has not yet been called, many works such as drainage and street lights are stuck.”

However, Cuttack mayor Anita Behera admitted that works had been affected a lot. “First, we will constitute various standing committees and then the general council meeting will be convened. Till then, no major work will be undertaken,” said Behera.

Director of the municipal administration Sanjeev Mishra said: “The two corporations didn’t find time to convene the general council meetings because of the elections. However, in my opinion, the model code of conduct will not affect their work much. They have enough funds provided by the state government over the years that spilled over since 2012. Besides, they are yet to submit their utilisation certificate of funds given to them earlier for various project works.”