ZP members spar over loan waiver, ESA report

Ruling BJP, Oppn Cong members trade charges

 Unruly scenes were witnessed at the general meeting of zilla panchayat here on Tuesday as members, cutting across party lines, traded charges against each other.

The meeting was convened by ZP president B A Harish who was elated over completing one year in office. He sought the cooperation of fellow members to continue to deliver with a renewed spirit.

He was equally happy about Sampaje-Polybetta Gram Panchayat bagging central honour during his tenure, though in reality, most of the developmental works remain to be completed.

Much before the president could list out the works, BJP and Congress members indulged in a verbal duel over loan waiver for farmers. The Congress members reminded BJP members about loan waiver to farmers from nationalised banks, with the state government already announcing waiver of short term loans up to Rs 50,000 advanced by cooperative banks.

‘Hasty decision’

They indulged in blame game over the burning issue of eco-sensitive areas (ESA) coming under western ghats as mentioned in the report submitted by the state government to the Centre following recommendations from the Kasturirangan-led committee. Some of the members, in a raised pitch, questioned the haste in implementing the recommendations amid growing opposition to the same. They sought to know alternatives for people residing on fringes of forest.

Sarita Poonacha, a ZP member from Congress, questioned the action taken by sitting Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha who had volunteered to shoulder responsibility, promising measures to prevent the recommendations from becoming a reality.

Mahesh Ganapathy from BJP clarified that there were no dissenting voices against the report. Another member Murali sought to remind opposition party members about the responsibilities of the state government.

ZP president B A Harish, who intervened, blamed state government for misleading the Centre which resulted in the announcement of ESAs in western ghats. Apart from ZP, Taluk Panchayat and Gram Panchayats too had resolved against the same, the reports of which had also been forwarded to the government for perusal.

The Congress members in turn blamed the sitting MP for failing to take further action in this regard.

Agriculture and Industries Standing Committee president H R Srinivas said valve men working under the multi-village drinking water project are yet to get their due salaries. It may discourage them from continuing their work, he said.

Kumuda Dharmappa brought it to the notice of the officials that residents of Nalkuru Shirangala have been suffering due to irregular supply of drinking water.

Following this, a majority of the members urged ZP CEO Charulata Somal to visit every Gram Panchayat to take stock of the situation.

It was resolved during the meeting to utilise ZP funds to drill percolation pits next to borewell points to tap rain water for rainwater harvesting.

The members also opposed the decision to close the ashrama school at Gonimarur in Virajpet taluk. There are 30 dwellings in the village but frequent appearances of wild animals has prevented teachers from attending work, thus prompting the officer to order  closure of the school.

Social justice standing committee president M K Viju Subramani instructed the officers not to close any ashrama schools.

Lone protest

ZP member from Congress Sarita Poonacha staged a lone protest seeking action against waste menace in the villages coming under Siddapura GP limits. She withdrew her protest only after the president promised action in this regard.

Cong ZP member's resignation sought

The recent incident of three youth celebrating Paksitan’s victory over India in the recently held finals of Champions Trophy cricket match was discussed at the ZP meeting here on Tuesday. A section of BJP members demanded the resignation of Congress ZP member Latheef, reports DHNS from Madikeri. Bopanna, Murali, M K Viju Subramani and Mookonda P Subramani from BJP said that Latheef had supported the youth in question who has been arrested and remanded to judicial custody. They said Latheef had indulged in treachery by urging people to forgive him.

However, Latheef denied any such act of betrayal on his part and explained that he had gone to the police station as a responsible elected representative. Latheef said Muslims in India enjoy freedom more than any other country.

“I don't need to learn lessons from anybody and have also not issued any statements against other religions. I respect all and my statements in the media have been misconstrued. I have clarified my stance in this regard at Suntikoppa,” Latheef said.
Latheef’s reply however, did not strike a chord with the resenting BJP members.

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