Road on record, not in reality

Asphaltation plan in Paduperar GP limits deviated to benefit few persons

Road on record, not in reality

At a time when a number of villages are waiting for the authorities concerned to lay a road, the Paduperar gram panchayat has ‘asphalted’ a road under Swacchha Grama scheme, which was already asphalted under Nabard scheme, that too almost at the same time!

It all began when Ephrem Rodrigues, a retired teacher, filed an application under RTI seeking details on the asphaltation works undertaken by the Paduperar gram panchayat between Nalade and Shettybettu, as the stretch is reportedly a private road and benefits only eight families including a gram panchayat member.

However, the gram panchayat in its reply to Rodrigues maintained that it is a public road and is asphalted under Swacchha Grama scheme of the Gram Panchayat. But a board on the stretch informs that the stretch and beyond has been asphalted under Nabard scheme at a cost of Rs 67 lakh.

A local resident informed this correspondent that the gram panchayat asphalted the road “only on paper,” as the stretch has already been asphalted by PWD under Nabard scheme.

When contacted, Paduperar Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) Madhav Ameen said that the stretch between Nalade and Shettybettu was asphalted about two years ago and the PWD laid the road on the same stretch later.

On the contrary, Paduperar GP President Rafael D’Souza said that though the GP had decided to asphalt the stretch (Nalade to Shettybettu) two years ago, the PWD took up the work from Ambika Nagar to Shettybettu via Nalade. “As the PWD would asphalt the road, the GP decided to asphalt another stretch between Shettybettu and Dodda Palke with the help of same amount,” D’Souza said and added that the stretch has been asphalted nearly two years ago.

He also that a few people were ‘harassing’ and giving ‘mental torture’ to him by going to media and giving false information. “I have spent more than Rs 20,000 on my own to help poor and solve problems in the panchayat limits, just because I am the president and I wanted to do some development works during my tenure,” he said and added that he regrets for accepting the post of GP president. “Any other person would have run away by now. But I want to complete my term,” he told Deccan Herald.

PWD errs

Though the ‘work information board’ (placed at Shettybettu) informs that the PWD, Port and Inland Water Transport Department has asphalted the Ambika Nagar - Orekala stretch (1.6 kms) at a cost of Rs 67 lakh between January 20, 2011 and September 20, 2011, in reality, the persons concerned have deviated from the original plan (Ambika Nagar - Nalade - Orekala) and asphalted Ambika Nagar - Nalade - Shettybettu, but installed the board at Shettybettu giving the impression that Shettybettu is Orekala.

All this has been done allegedly to help a few influential persons in the locality (between Nalade and Shettybettu), alleged another resident, who did not wish to be quoted.
 Interestingly, the Nalade - Orekala stretch is not asphalted till date, though the official document says that the stretch is asphalted under Nabard scheme.

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