Sad villages have no basic amenities yet: CM

Sad villages have no basic amenities yet: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday expressed pain and disappointment at the government not being able to provide basic infrastructure facilities in villages in the State.

“Government officials should have the will and take initiatives to improve roads and drainage system under the job guarantee scheme. It is sad that even during the day, it is not possible to walk in a some villages in North Karnataka. Such problems cannot be solved by the government authorities alone. Even the public should lend a helping hand,” he said on the sidelines of the 40th anniversary of the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Board.

“There are lots of pending works to be taken up in the rural parts of the State, such as construction of toilets, hospitals, drinking water facilities among others, which need to be carried out by the Board. Tenders should be invited and the board members should participate in it. This way, deployment of contractors can be avoided and even the government can benefit,” he said.

He stressed that there had been cases where the Board had stopped civil works claiming that they had not received funds from the government. “The Board should focus on the execution of quality work and not on monetary profits. It should complete the work within the given time frame,” the chief minister added.

H K Patil, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said contractors and officials were tarnishing the image of the government by leaving the works incomplete. “In 20 districts, 30 contractors have been roped in to execute works worth about Rs 30 crore to Rs 100 crore. They are the ones who head the work and considering the welfare of the State, the works should be handed over to the board,” Patil added.

H P Prakash, Managing Director, Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Board, said the State government, under the Transparency Act, had given concessions of up to Rs 1 crore for some works under the Board.

“There is a need to renew it every year. The concession limit must be increased to Rs three crore and remain the same for a period of five years.”

‘No work, no sleep’

People present at the event burst into laughter when the chief minister said, “Many people complain that they do not get proper sleep. This is because they do not work. Those who toil hard during the day, drink and go to bed... They get sound sleep.” “I wish people don’t drink. The previous government had banned consumption of alcohol. The rural people have ditched arrack and gone for whiskey now. Many people in Gujarat drink alcohol, though it was banned there many years ago,” he said.

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