Local bodies fail to utilise grants

Rs 98 lakh out of Rs 1.91 crore sanctioned for drinking water supply spent so far

 District in-charge secretary B S Ramprasad took severe note of non-utilisaton of grants by urban local bodies in the district.

Speaking at a progress review meeting at Zilla Panchayat auditorium here on Tuesday, he expressed dissatisfaction over Town Municipal Councils not utilising Rs 1.91 crore released for drinking water supply in April itself. He directed the Deputy Commissioner N Prabhakar to take back the grants from Town Municipal Councils. The DC suggested that the municipal commissioners who fail to utilise the grants should be arrested.

The officers revealed that out of Rs 40 lakh released to Malur TMC only Rs 15 lakh has been spent, Rs 10 lakh utilised out of Rs 13 lakh in Srinivaspur, Rs 17.75 lakh out of Rs 29 lakh in Mulbagal and Rs 12.37 lakh out of Rs 24 lakh released to Bangarpet Town Municipal Council. Thus out of the cumulative grants of Rs 1.91 crore, only Rs 98 lakh has been spent so far.

Compensation

Tahsildar Manjunath said that out of 80 people whose houses have collapsed or damaged in the recent rains, compensation has been disbursed only to eight people and information is being collected on the rest 72 victims. Taking exception to the delay and style of functioning, the secretary said “You are bringing down the image of the Revenue Department.” The inordinate delay in coming to the rescue of the victims will be brought to the notice of the government.

“There are provisions to pay compensation ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000, depending on the severity and urgency, immediately. However, not a single paisa has been paid as compensation even after lapse of ten days of the incident. The confusion in you people regarding the compensation disbursement rules has made the public suffer unnecessarily,” he said, observing that it would be inappropriate to poi nt fingers on district administration without sending the proposal itself.

The officers of Revenue Department should respond to the public problems at the earliest and should not bring disgrace by their laxity and lethargic attitude. They should act in the right earnest acquiring knowledge of the rules and regulations, Ramprasad suggested.
Taking a serious view of the dharna by women in Malur demanding drinking water supply, the DC told the official concerned: “You have funds to the tune of Rs 25 lakh and still pave way for such situation.”

Ramprasad noted that it would be an futile exercise if pumpsets are not installed to the borewells immediately. Leaving borewells without pumpsets won’t serve any purpose. The Town Municipal Councils are not utilising the grants meant for this specific purpose, he castigated.

No pumpsets

Zilla Panchayat engineer submitted that out of the 146 borewells sunk in the district, motor and pumpset have been installed to 104, so far. However, Zilla Panchayat president M Srinivas, disputed the claim saying that more than 300 borewells in the district are bereft of pumpset.

The district in-charge secretary also expressed his displeasure over the style of functioning of Sericulture Department.

“A sum of Rs 12 crore should be spent under various schemes for the benefit of 21,000 sericulturists in the district. However, the Department is still in the process of formulating schemes for spending the grants. This itself is a testimony to the fact that the Department is not in touch with the farmers. As a result, the latter are also losing confidence in the Department,” he observed.

Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer G V Rangarao, Superintendent of Police K P Puttaswamy were present in the meeting.

Synergy emphasised

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, B S Ramprasad said that a consensus and coordinated strategy need to be evolved amongst all the departments for utilisation of grants available under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Drought situation has improved owing to rains and water is being supplied only to urban areas now. There is no dearth of funds to take up development works and the district administration is prepared to face any eventuality. The secretary said that he would review the progress of the district, on a monthly basis.

Ground reality

*  Compensation paid to only eight out of 80 victims of severe rains.
*  Sericulture Department yet to formulate schemes for utilisation of Rs 12 crore
*  300 borewells without pumpsets

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