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CMA’s order on highways ruffles Opposition

The state government has instructed all corporation and municipalities to adopt a resolution in their councils, providing for taking over of all Centre and state highways and district roads in the state.

CMA’s order on highways ruffles Opposition
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Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA) reasoned that it would help reduce cost and avoid delay in undertaking repairs and restoration works. Though the government may cite a different reason for the move, road reclassification would obviously help by-pass the Supreme Court order and continue liquor sale on highways. 

The CMA has written to commissioners of all corporations and municipalities to adopt resolutions and send the same to him before April 25. In his circular (No: 29727/2016/E3) issued on Friday (April 21), the copy of which is available with DT Next, Commissioner of Municipal Administration G Prakash has asked the civic heads to send the resolutions individually before the said date.

Stating that urban local bodies must currently get the consent of other government departments and execute essential works in a hurry in the times of distress, the CMA has attributed the decision to cutting cost while executing drinking water and underground drainage schemes on a war-footing in the state. 

Undoubtedly, the timing and motive of the state in taking over the highways is unlikely to go unnoticed by the Opposition. The Opposition parties had sensed the move and already threatened to resist any attempt by the government to reclassify the roads to circumvent the Supreme Court order and allow sale of liquor on the highways. 

Meanwhile, the PMK has announced a protest condemning the ruling AIADMK’s move to reclassify roads which would enable it to sell liquor. Over 1,900 state run TASMAC shops were shut in the state following the Supreme Court order banning liquor sale on the highways. 

That the government, instead of passing an executive order, has taken care to get the subject resolved in all corporation and municipal councils before passing a GO shows the amount of caution taken by it to give legal sanction to road reclassification. 

Liquor sale controversies aside, another teething problem in the form of maintenance of the said roads would cost a bomb for the already cash strapped urban local bodies.

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