ZP chief, CEO exchange words at progress review meeting

The simmering differences between Kodagu Zilla Panchayat president B A Harish and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charulatha Somal  came to fore again.

Somal and Harish exchanged words at a progress review meeting held here on Thursday.

Harish said panchayat development officers (PDOs) are not issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) for the construction of farm houses. The officials are also not taking action against the officers for razing a government building at Gonikoppa bus stand, he charged. This led to a war of words between Somal and Harish.

Harish said the elected representatives are answerable to people whereas officials are transferred from one place to another.

Losing cool, Harish asked the officials, “Are you playing with people?” This irked Somal. She took objection to Harish’s boorish remarks and said such words may hurt the officers.

The chief executive officer also clarified that no objection certificates are not issued for Patta lands following the amendments brought to some laws. Moreover, except in Madikeri taluk, no objection certificates are issued to farm houses in other taluks, she clarified further.

Not willing to budge, the zilla panchayat president showed an order copy issued by a panchayat development officer against building a house at Kottur village (survey number 64/1 near Kushalnagar) in the district, despite permission issued by tahsildar. Though Somal promised to look into the issue, Harish was not willing to let it go
and blamed the former accusing her of issuing the permission. This started the debate again.

Diddalli tribals’ issue Chairman of Public Education Standing Committee Mookonda P Subramani chided the officials for offering royal treatment to tribals at Diddalli, while people in the district are reeling under drinking water crisis.

Subramani directed the officials to take measures to shift the tribals to those three places where sites have been identified to build houses for their rehabilitation.

Rs 1 crore has been already released to create facilities towards tribal welfare and the officers should submit details on the facilities created, Subramani said.

Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer Prakash explained that Rs 21 lakh has been spent on installation of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to keep a tab on tribals who are still unwilling to shift. They have been provided 15 mobile toilets, blankets, tarpauls, stone slab to wash clothes and Rs 20 lakh has been spent towards food from the past four weeks for all 577 families.

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