Bring rural areas on par with cities: Lok Adalat

DCs, officers pulled up for laxity and not doing enough in rural areas

Meeting: Lok Adalat Chairman Justice N K Patil and member Yellappa Reddy addressing a  meeting of DCs and officers in Mysore on Saturday. DH Photo

“The cities are getting crowded due to migration and exodus of people in search of jobs and good basic amenities. The bureaucrats have the responsibility to see that the rural areas also get importance on par with the development works in cities,” Justice Patil and Yellappa Reddy, who is also the former conservator of forests told the magistrates.

The duo was speaking at the regional-level Lok Adalat organised by the High Court Legal Services Committee at the Zilla Panchayat hall here.

The Lok Adalat reviewed the progress of works on various projects like supply of potable water, solid waste management, desilting of the lakes and clearing encroachments, measures to reduce man-animal conflict in the forest fringes and on providing basic amenities in villages and small towns.

Justice Patil and Reddy asked the officers to provide parks and other basic amnesties to rural people too. Do the villages not have old people who can have a stroll in the parks. Migration to cities will also be reduced if people get good facilities locally, they said.

“The Deputy Commissioner’s should regularly visit the rural areas and see for themselves the progress of various government schemes and development works. There are allegations of irregularities in rural employment scheme. DC’s and CEOs of Zilla Panchayat should review implementation and check for irregularities without waiting for complaints,” they said.

As the meeting began, newly-appointed Deputy Commissioner of Mysore Vastrad was at the receiving end for attending the meeting without proper preparation and collating the data. Vastrad had no proper answers to the concrete works initiated in the district to manage the solid waste management in the district and city.

The Chairman and member turned red-faced when a senior advocate Vasudeva petitioned that the district administration had completely failed in managing the solid waste in city and the district and providing potable water for the residents. The DC was shown leniency as he has been in office only for a week now. However, the Lok Adalat asked the bureaucrat to come prepared in the next meeting. Justice Patil also slammed Mandya Deputy Commissioner Dr P C Jaffer and Chamarajnagar DC Amarnarayan for failing to give convincing replies on the concerns expressed by the Adalat in the last meeting.

On implementation of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) guidelines, Jaffer said the administration issued a notice to a sugar factory for violating the norms. The Adalat asked for a copy of the notice when the DC looked perplexed and said they did not carry the copy to the meeting. Justice Patil wanted the DC to ask his officials to bring a copy of it from Mandya before the meeting ended in the evening. “The officers should be truthful about the statistics and information they present in the Lok Adalat. Anyone caught with false and wrong information will face the consequences,” they warned.

Justice Patil also advised the deputy commissioners and the chief executive officers to  interact with the media and tell about good works if any done in their district. “The newspapers are loaded with negative reports and publicity everyday. Bureaucrats should reverse it showing their good work to the media,” he said listening to few success stories when Chamarajnagar DC Amarnarayan pointed out that Government approved a Rs 260 crore drinking water project to meet drinking water requirement of Chamarajnagar and Gundlupet taluk.

DCs and Chief Executive Officers of Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Chamarajnagar, Madikeri, Mangalore and Chikmagalur and officials were present in the meeting. MCC commissioner K S Raykar and police commissioner Sunil Agarwal were also present.

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