'ZP members should be allowed to work independently'

VP says grants not being released due to interference of minister

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Vice President Sathish Kumpala said the Zilla Panchayat members should be given independence to work towards the development of their constituencies, without curtailing their rights.

Addressing mediapersons at Zilla Panchayat on Monday, he said MLAs and ministers should not interfere in their work. Many members want to carry out development work, but grants are not being released due to interference by ministers.

The interference is so much that a contractor, who was blacklisted by the earlier administration of the Zilla Panchayat, was awarded a tender for a water project at Kinnigoli according to the whims and fancies of a minister, he alleged.

No grants released
He said the government has not provided grants to the Zilla Panchayat in the last two years. Sufficient grants have not beeen released for Bahugrama drinking water projects though the funds have been released from the Centre. Out of 21 projects, grants were provided to only five projects and that too, in Bantwal only. There is a deficit of funds for 10,000 houses under Basava Vasathi Scheme. The bills from three years are due for payment, towards various development works.

Grants have not been provided, except the Zilla Panchayat grants of Rs 2.66 crore, he claimed.

Details of progress
Zilla Panchayat President Asha Thimmappa Gowda said 35 Zilla Panchayat members have worked towards the development of the region, irrespective of party affiliations, during the period of 20 months.

The Zilla Panchayat has constructed 15 houses for evacuees at Thottilaguri at a cost of Rs 3.50 lakh each and other facilities, such as a 50,000-litre capacity drinking water tank, drainage system etc.

As many as 18,471 houses have been constructed under Indira Avas and Basava Vasathi Schemes between 2010-11 and 2015-16 and 5,248 houses are in various stages. A quarters has been built for Zilla Panchayat CEO at a cost of Rs 154 lakh and four more quarters will be constructed at a cost of Rs 50 lakh each, she explained.

Under MGNREGS, works of  29.377 lakh human days have been created and 2,306 road works have been carried out at a cost of 7108.73 lakh. During the last five years, Rs 18,290.28 lakh has been utilised for permanent drinking water facilities. Self-employment groups have been provided Rs 544.01 lakh. A subsidy of Rs 319.65 lakh has been provided during the last five years and Rs 20 lakh has been provided to victims of various natural calamities, she said.

Awards won
Asha Thimmappa Gowda further said the Zilla Panchayat has received Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Empowerment Campaign Award, Gandhi Gram Puraskar, Swarna Nairmalya, Nairmalya Rathna, Nabard Award for Rural Innovative Programme and other awards. She added that her term would end on February 7.

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