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Committee holds flood advisory meeting but fails to invite public
The advisory committee formed by the government to propose flood mitigation conducted a stakeholders’ meeting on Sunday, but didn’t inform a large section of the public, who are stakeholders affected by the floods
The ruling party and the Chief Minister might have been changed but the State’s attitude towards public opinion appears to be unchanged as the advisory committee formed by the government to propose flood mitigation measures conducted a stakeholders’ meeting on Sunday without informing a larger section of the public.
The committee issued forms to the selected participants and the people who submitted the forms only were allowed.
In the past, when there was an elected council for the civic body, major projects were implemented after stakeholders’ meetings by announcing the time and place publicly. Civic activists rued that not involving the public in such meetings was largely responsible for the most recent floods.
“I received a video conference link to join the meeting and tried to take part thinking that it was an open meeting. I prepared a detailed presentation to explain the issues. However, the committee asked me to log off saying that only invited persons could be the part of the meeting,” Dayanand Krishnan, a GIS expert, said.
Dayanand Krishnan riled that everyone in the city was affected by the floods and opined that the committee could not understand actual issues without hearing from the experts and residents. “The committee should have invited residents from the most-affected zones at least,” he added.
When asked, a member of the committee, who was also in the meeting, clarified that the committee conducted a stakeholders’ meeting, not a public hearing. “If it was a public hearing, prior intimation would have been given to the residents. Chairman can invite persons whom he thinks deemed to be heard,” the member said.
During the earlier regime, several projects were implemented without conducting proper stakeholders’ meetings as the selected persons only were invited through phone calls. The method failed in T Nagar, where several smart city projects were started amid opposition from residents. When there was an elected council for the civic body, major projects were implemented after stakeholders’ meetings by announcing the time and place publicly.