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July 3, Mr. Alapati Venkaramaiah, Minister for Municipal Administration, said that the Health Department which was spending 50 percent of the civic budget was expected to render a better account of itself as the markets in the town were blackspots in an otherwise fairly administered port town. He said he had seen no sign of sanitation in the markers he had just visited.
The address presented to him by Mr. S. V. Gopalarao, Chairman of the Municipal Council, referred to the need for drainage, protected water supply and a developed port. The Minister said the Government was prepared to meet 60 percent of the costs if the Municipality provided the balance of 40 per cent for the protected water supply.
Vizag's Beach Road
The military authorities have at last agreed in principle to readjust the seaside barbed wire fencing of the coast battery in Visakhapatnam to leave enough space for the municipality to lay a 60 ft wide beach road. The coast battery, established during the last World War had cut off the otherwise continuous stretch of the beach road from Dolphin's Nose to the Palm Beach, necessitating a circuitous diversion of the road through the Jalaripeta slums. The outgoing Special Officer of the municipality, Mr. Ajit Singh, was able to convince the military authorities of the bonafides of the municipality, whereas the prolonged public agitation on this score had not weighed much so far.
Nehru Frowns On Silver Casket
Prime Minister Nehru frowned on the Zila Parishad and Municipal authorities of Kurnool for using a casket of silver and ivory to present him with an address on July 25. He said he would have been happy if the address were presented in simple bamboo casket.
The Zila Prishad and the Municipality used two 30-pound garlands, specially brought from Bangalore to honour Mr. Nehru.
Mayors Of South India
Five Mayors of South India, Madras, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Calicut and Hyderabad, are to meet soon to form a separate
organisation of Mayors, apart from the AllIndia Mayors Conference. Madras and Travancore Mayors are responsible for the move.
Vijawada Injunction Vacated
Mr. Justice Narasimham at the Andhra Pradesh High Court on July 9 suspended operation of the injunction restraining Vijayawada Municipality from collecting taxes on the basis of quinquennial revision of 1962.
The Assam Government has appointed a one-man inquiry commission, consisting of Mr. Devendranath Sarma, a member of the Assam Assembly, to inquire into and report within six months on the question of raising the status of the Gauhati Municipal Board to that of a Municipal Corporation. It will also report in particular on whether Gauhati should be declared a city and whether conversion of the Municipal Board into a Corporation is necessary.
The last census report had recommended that both Greater Gauhati and Greater Shillong, each having a population of over 100,000, could be declared as Class I towns or cities of India.
Delhi New Administrative Set Up
The Union Home Minister is expected to hold discussions with the Delhi Congress leaders as also representatives of the Opposition parties in August to decide the future set-up of Delhi Union Territory. The proposal of a Legislatve Assembly and Council of Ministers has alrealy been rejected. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded more powers for the Mayor and the deliberative wing of the Delhi Municipal Corparation. Certain Congressmen of the city have expressed themselves in favour of a strong Mayor in-Council set up. At present the entire executive powers vest in the CommisS1Ones.
Water Supply Breakdown
on July 9, when owing to a burst in one of the two major water mains at the Chandrawal works, one-sixth of the total water supply was cut off. The full supply was, however, restored within 48 hours.
The Municipal Commissioner Mr. R. Bahl, in the Corporation meeting on July 11, defended the executive’s failure to inform the Corporation on July 9 of the pipe burst and the resulting cut in the Capital's water supply. He said the mishap was not covered by Section 59 C of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. This clause makes it obligatory on the Commissioner to inform the Corporation or the Standing Committee of “an accident or the threatening of an occurrence or a natural calamity which caused extensive damage to the Corporation property or to human life.” He said the mishap of July 9 was not of the same magnitude as the one last September, when the pumping house was flooded as the result of a burst. In the present case the supply was restored within 48 hours whereas in the 1962 accident regular water supply was restored only after a week.
The councillors through short-notice
queries accused the executive of hiding the facts about the Capital's water crisis behind an “iron curtain” of secrecy. They also demanded an inquiry into the whole incident, covering the causes of the pipe burst and the failure of the executive to inform the Mayor, councillors and the public of the mishap.
Mayor Nuruddin Ahmed rejected the Councillors’ demand for a discussion after the Commissioner made his statement on the mishap. But he allowed them to ask supplementaries and seek clarifications.
The Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Committee of Delhi Corporatiion, on July 12, appointed a panel of five experts to inquire into the water crisis of July 9 and 10. Members of the panel are : Dr. K. L. Rao, M. P., and former member of the Central Water and Power Commission, Mr. C. L. Handa and Mr. K. L. Vij, members of the CWPC, Mr. Rajgopalan, Deputy DirectorGeneral of Health Services, and Mr. J. R.