Thiruvananthapuram: The largest municipal corporation in Kerala apparently has several things to be swept under the rug. Suggesting dubious practices often files vanish from the civic body when a Vigilance inquiry is expected! Now, police have begun an investigation into three major files that have gone missing from the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation over the past one-and-a-half years. This is amidst a major row over a suspected job racket run by a few CPM leaders to recruit their own personnel to temporary jobs in the civic body.
Every year, at least 20 files vanish or are carelessly handled by the Corporation. However, it is usually settled after conducting internal inquiries without informing the Police. Some files also disappear at the time the contractors’ bills are to be settled.
Two files from the building number section and one under the Health department related to a tree felling, have been reported missing. One of the files pertains to the building number scam which had jolted the Corporation.
The statements of a few employees have been recorded based on a complaint filed by the Corporation authorities with the Museum Police. The matter is being dealt with confidentially.
Corporation handles 7.5 lakh files every year
In terms of the area under its jurisdiction, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is the largest civic body in Kerala. Every year, about 2.5 lakh fresh files reach the Corporation. This is besides the 5 lakh files already being handled.
Applications for building construction itself come to about 10,000. About 55,000 birth and death registrations also happen in a year. Some 1.06 lakh files pertain to the welfare pension schemes.
On average, 8,000 building numbers are issued by the Corporation in a year.
The files of 11 zonal offices and 25 circle offices are being handled at the Corporation Office. Often the files that must reach the Corporation are taken to the zonal or circle offices by mistake. Some of them are returned to the Corporation after a few months. Some others disappear.
With complaints from all quarters regarding the ‘disappearing files,’ an online facility is being used for all files regarding buildings up to 3,000 square feet. It has also been decided to make all files related to building permits online from today.