Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government was pondering to curtail the powers vested with panchayat and municipality secretaries. He was responding to an adjournment motion moved by K M Shaji in the Assembly on Monday.
When it comes to norms relating to construction in local self-government institutions, the secretary holds the authority according to municipal and panchayat raj laws. If there is dissatisfaction in the secretary’s decision, the only option is to move an appeal in the tribunal for local self-government institutions under section 309 (6). At present, neither the chairman nor the council can take a decision or hear the appeal.
The incident (of an expat industrialist in Anthoor committing suicide over delay in granting permit to this convention centre) is that several problems exist in connection with granting permit to building construction. Solving these problems is a priority for the government. As such the state government has taken immediate measures, the CM said.
As per norms, the secretary can overrule even an official with technical expertise such as the engineer. Curtailing such powers vested with the secretary can be considered, he added.
If the secretary so chooses against the decision, he must listen to the technically adept official (the minutes of which must be duly signed by the secretary and technical official and filed), the CM added.