Lack of progress, 'lax' PDOs taste MLA's wrath

Recommendation for suspension of Udbur PDO sought

Chamundeshwari MLA G T Devegowda on Monday cracked a whip on the officialdom, mainly Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) for showing laxity in their job.

Presiding over the tri-monthly Karnataka Developmental Programmes (KDP) progress review meeting at the taluk level, organised at Mini Vidhana Soudha in the city, Devegowda also recommended for the suspension of PDO of Udbur Gram Panchayat in the taluk, Ravikumar. He directed the Executive Officer (EO) of Taluk Panchayat Kusuma Kumari to write to the government for the PDO’s suspension.

Absent official

What irked the MLA was the absence of the said PDO during the meeting. When the MLA went to Udbur on the inspection of developmental works recently, the official hadn’t shown up. Peeved, the legislator directed the EO to initiate disciplinary action against the other officials too who indulged in similar behaviour.

The legislator also strongly criticised the PDOs of 35 gram panchayats, putting the bureaucrats present in the meeting in the spotlight. Here too, what had upset the legislator was the failure on the part of the officials to effectively make use of funds available under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Progress

Instead of making a direct attack on the officers, the MLA wanted to know from the PDOs about the progress made under NREGA. When most of the PDOs failed to answer, PDO of Nagavala GP raised his hand claiming he had utilised Rs 10 lakh under the scheme.

The MLA however said that Rs 10 lakh was not spent on creating jobs, but to build Rajiv Gandhi Sevan Kendra in the panchayat limits.

No other officials could claim progress, when the legislator sought to know whether any of them had spent Rs 25 lakh to Rs one crore under the scheme.

Motivational programme

Joint Secretary to the chief minister, Ramaiah who was also present at the meeting, emphasised on organising a programme to motivate the officials.

 Ramaiah reminded the officials about the purpose behind creating PDO post. Earlier, Block Development Officers were involving farmers in laying roads and to repair drains in the villages. Instead of blaming local politicians after “making compromises” with them, PDOs should work for the development of panchayats, Ramaiah suggested.

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