With just a day to go for the first council meet and the election of Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, the new council hall in the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) office is being decked up for the occasion. The authorities are giving final touches to the new hall by fixing mikes to the corporator seats, checking electricity connections, painting works, flooring for the Mayor rooms and a few others here on Friday.
The previous council hall was renovated as Command Control Centre for smart city operations. The new council hall has been arranged at the extreme left in the second floor near the Engineering Department. Completely air-conditioned, the hall has 20 large benches (10 in a row) with a seating capacity of 100 people for the 98 corporators, apart from special blocks for the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor in front.
According to GVMC Chief Engineer M. Venkateswara Rao, the new council hall was renovated with an approximate budget of ₹ 99 lakh. Special chambers were created for the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor near the council hall, he said.
The last council, which was formed after 2007 municipal polls, completed its term in 2012. After a span of eight years, the new council with 98 newly-elected corporators are going to assume the office on Thursday. On March 18, the council will elect its Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who will be from the ruling YSR Congress Party, which won the Urban Local Body (ULB) polls. Later a standing committee will be constituted with a group of members from opposition, which will have a chairman again.
“The council works just on the lines of the State Assembly. The difference is that local issues will come into focus. The council will give corporators an opportunity to speak on the issues in their wards and get required funds to solve them. Issues such as non-functioning of street lights, drainage system, drinking water, pollution, roads and parks will be discussed. The corporators need to have thorough knowledge about the issues in their wards,” said Vanapalli Ravi Kumar, who was elected as corporator from ward no. 31.
Mr. Ravi Kumar, who is a going to attend the council for the second time, said that the council should work for the people irrespective of the party affiliations. The Telugu Desam Party members will strongly oppose the new property taxes bill, he said.