Palike uses park fund for parking

There seems to be little difference between ''park'' and ''parking'' for the BBMP engineers, as funds meant to develop a park around the Vasantha Vallabharaya Temple in south Bangalore were diverted for developing parking space inside the temple complex.

Funds meant for a park around the Vasantha Vallabharaya Temple were diverted for developing a parking space inside the temple complex.

In the absence of a park, the Palike engineers decided to construct a parking space there. The BBMP engineers also diverted funds meant for developing Vasanthapura Tank to build an arch of the temple which is under the Muzrai Department.

Deccan Herald broke the story on Friday about the discrepancies in the execution of works in Vasanthapura ward, particularly around the temple premises. The report highlighted the shoddy nature of the work executed by the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), a subsidiary of the State government. The Palike earmarked Rs 53 lakh for the development of a park and carrying out civil works in and around the temple. While the civil works were executed, no park was developed. In fact, there is no park inside the temple complex.

Similarly, the Vasanthapura Kalyani (tank) was never taken up for rejuvenation, but bills worth Rs 35 lakh were duly submitted. The tank needed urgent attention as attempts were made to grab the tank land. Bowing to public demand, the Palike fenced it two years ago, and allocated Rs 35 lakh for its rejuvenation last financial year. But the work was never taken up, although the bills were submitted.

The Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of the ward admitted that the funds meant for rejuvenating the tank was spent on constructing the arch of the temple. He said the rejuvenation was not taken up because Sudha Murty, wife of Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy, had decided to take up the rejuvenation of the tank. Vasanthapura Tank is one of the five tanks in the area (together known as pancha kalyani) that she chose to restore.Once the Palike engineers received the assurance from Murty, they diverted the fund. It was, however, not known whether the nomenclature of the work was changed as per the procedure.

Deccan Herald had reported that Vasanth Vallabh Nagar roads were in shambles despite spending Rs 77 lakh. The Palike engineers refuted the report saying that the work order was for constructing roads in Vallabh Nagar and not Vasanth Vallabh Nagar. Both the localities are part of in the Bangalore South Assembly constituency.

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