Governor ticks off Siddaramaiah

Governor ticks off Siddaramaiah

Asks him to act swiftly to ensure drinking water supply

Governor ticks off Siddaramaiah

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Friday expressed his reservations about the State  government’s unpreparedness to mitigate drinking water shortage in summer and said he had told Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take steps to “activate” the government.

Speaking to reporters after garlanding the statue of 12th century social reformer Basavanna at Chalukya Circle in Bangalore, on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi, Bhardwaj said he had told the chief minister during their meeting at Raj Bhavan on Thursday that he had seen no activity in the government during the last one-and-a-half months.

“I told the chief minister that the reservoirs are drying up and there will be drinking water problems. The government should have anticipated the problems and taken remedial steps. However, he (CM) kept quiet... Then I told him to activate his government,” Bhardwaj said.

The Governor added that the chief minister told him that the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls might have hampered development work.However, Bhardwaj refused to accept Siddaramaiah’s argument.

“The model code of conduct is for political parties not to unduly promote themselves... I was the (union) law minister, I know what model code of conduct is. Urgent work should continue,” Bhardwaj said.

The Governor said as many as 160 taluks in the State could face drinking water shortage and officials should not show any laxity in mitigating the crisis on the pretext of model code of conduct. 

Siddaramaiah had called on Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan on Thursday and they held a meeting for nearly 45 minutes. 

The chief minister, who arrived separately to garland the statue of Basaveshwara on Friday, said the government was doing its bit.

Siddaramaiah said the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department had already released Rs 500 crore for drinking water schemes including drilling of new borewells. In addition, special grants to the tune of Rs 100 crore had been released.

If there was no source of  water nearby, drinking water was being supplied in tankers to such villages, the chief minister added.

Adequate fodder was available for cattle and Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was being implemented effectively. “Drinking water, employment and fodder have been the government’s priority,” Siddaramaiah said.