Nagarothana: all is not well in Madikeri CMC

With members of the ruling party in Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) up in their arms against the president alleging discrimination in allocating grants sanctioned under the third phase of Nagarothana project, it looks like everything is not okay in the CMC. Senior Congress member and former vice president Leela Sheshamma recently staged a lone protest demanding parity in the allocation of funds and thus, the real picture of the ruling party has come to the fore.

The CMC had received Rs 35 crore under the third phase of Nagarothana project, of which Rs 15 crore was earmarked for drinking water, Rs 5 crore for the welfare of SC/ST community members and remaining Rs 15 crore along with general fund was to be distributed among 23 wards.

Accordingly, under general fund, each ward was given Rs 15 lakh. However, Rs 90 lakh was earmarked for the welfare of SC/ST in two wards represented by two influential members from the Congress, which created confusion, said a Congress member to DH. Earmarking huge amount of money for two wards has not gone down well with the members.

Members said that a large number of people from SC/ST community were residing at Mallikarjuna Nagara, Kumbarageri, Mangaladevi Nagara, Ashokapuram in the past. Now, the community members have settled in different parts of the town. Hence, all the wards should be given equal share of grant, the members demanded. 

At present, the CMC president is from Congress while the vice president is from BJP. Even majority of share in standing committee is shared by the BJP. An unsavoury situation was witnessed during the CMC meeting recently, between vice president and president regarding the removal of interlocking tiles installed on the footpath.

Leela Sheshamma said that she was neither protesting against the CMC president nor against the Congress. She said she wanted to express her anger over injustice met by her ward in the allocation of grants. “Ranipete, Kaveri Layout, T John Nagara, Mallikarjuna Nagara come under my ward where 35 to 40 SC/ST families reside. Due to paucity of funds, facilities could not be provided to them. When my ward was given Rs 14 lakh, other two wards were given Rs 90 lakh. The injustice should be set right,” she said.

A senior CMC member said, “I had given a list of emergency works to be initiated in my ward, which was neglected. The works that could be taken up with a grant of Rs 15 lakh was approved. What will I answer my people in the ward.”

Replying to the allegations, CMC president Kaveramma Somanna said she has not discriminated against any ward while sharing the grants. The funds were distributed as per the guidelines. More grants were earmarked for those wards where emergency works need to be taken up.

Standing Committee president K S Ramesh from BJP said, “The government has approved the list of works. There are possibility of exerting pressure on the president to earmark additional fund for a ward. It is not right to politicise the issue. Instead, we all should work towards development.”

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