Wrong names on drought-relief list, says assistant executive engineer

Says PWD is helpless if MLAs keep adding village names

Accusing an MLA of blindly including names of villages in the list under drought-relief task force, PWD assistant executive engineer Gangadharaiah expressed helplessness of the Department to solve the water shortage problem.

Answering questions of Taluk Panchayat members at a meeting in the city on Wednesday, Gangadharaiah agreed it was necessary to undertake development work.

“The legislator, who is also the chairperson of the task force, adds names of villages as they please, instead of those we give, in the recommendation lists. Therefore, no work is carried out in these villages, and we, although members of the task force, are helpless,” said Gangadharaiah.

DC informed
The engineer said the matter has been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner and he has called for a meeting on Tuesday. “He has also promised to approve of work if the names of villages with problems are given.”

He requested for cooperation from panchayat development officers and secretaries for the development work. He also asked the Taluk Panchayat members to look into the
matter.

When Chandrashekhar, Bellur constituency member, demanded details regarding utilisation of the Rs 40 lakh released under drought-relief funds, Gangadharaiah promised the information soon.

Chandrashekhar, however, was unsatisfied. He accused the engineer of failing to provide the information even during a meeting two months ago and questioned his criticism of legislator when he did not work properly.

The matter of the list of beneficiaries under the Ashraya scheme too led to arguments.
Puttamma, Chandrashekhar and others said the Panchayat members were not informed when the list was prepared. Meetings at village and ward levels were also not conducted. Several members of one family were added to the list. Families living in tumble-down huts, on the other hand, had been excluded, they alleged.

“Panchayat development officers, executive officers and the Assistant Commissioner were members of the committee for selection of the beneficiaries. Yet, there have been glaring errors,” they added.

Several members argued on the issue, which led to ruckus in the hall. N Ramadevi, president, and Manjunath, vice-president, attempted to pacify the members, but the confusion took in much of the meeting time.

Executive officer K S Bhat explained that although the lists had been submitted, many of them had not been signed by the gram panchayat presidents and development officers. “The matter has been brought to the notice of the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Board. The officers have mentioned that the lists are considered genuine only if both office-bearers have signed the document.”

Four months, no pay
Dr Latha Pramila, taluk health officer, complained that as the annual funds for health centres have not been released properly, staff at the centres have gone without pay for four months.

“Only Rs 33.46 lakh of the Rs 53.77 lakh has been released. Repair of five primary health centres in the taluk has required up to Rs 2.50 lakh,” she informed.

Hike in subsidy
Gayathri, assistant director of the Department of Agriculture, said the subsidy given to farmers belonging to SC/ST communities for purchase of machinery has been hiked from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. She added, however, that the subsidy will be provided only if accurate information is provided regarding farmers’ requirements of machines.

Gangadharaiah said 99 projects had been taken up all over the taluk for utilisation of the Rs one crore given to the Taluk Panchayat president.

Bhat added that this was the first instance a taluk panchayat president was given such high amount for development work. “The money should therefore be used well. This will aid us in requesting for more funds,” he advised.

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