A civic official and a former corporator have been trading charges after the corporator filed a Lokayukta complaint against officials of the BBMP’s Traffic Engineering Cell (TEC), accusing them of corruption.
Responding to BJP spokesperson and former corporator and N R Ramesh’s complaint, former superintending engineer for road infrastructure B S Prahallad said in his July 18 reply to the Lokayukta, “I strongly feel that this complaint is filed at the behest of N R Ramesh, a former corporator, who, by evidence, put RTI queries and filed complaints in the ACB, Lokayukta and COD against officers.”
“It has also come to the notice of the undersigned that Ramesh executes BBMP works through contractors Manjunath and Sathish. Ramesh has approached many executive engineers demanding that work be given to these contractors, failing which complaints are filed with the TVCC, ACB, Lokayukta and COD to blackmail the engineers.”
Prahallad, currently the chief engineer at SWD, accused Ramesh of accepting bribes to let contractors violate building plans.
“Investigation may reveal that unauthorised construction/deviation is rampant in Ward 167, wherein, Ramesh collects huge sums of money from building contractors and big builders,” he said.
The fact that Manjunath is the only civil contractor in Ward 167 needs to be probed, the official
He also dismissed the inquiry against TEC in TVCC (at the BBMP) and the complaint against officials as “frivolous without the signature of the complainant”.
“These type of complaints demoralise the officers,” Prahallad said.
Prahallad’s rejoinder had come weeks before Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa ordered an ACB probe into the TEC’s functioning. The complaint in the Lokayukta was lodged in the name of one Ganesh Singh.
Responding to Prahallad’s charges, Ramesh said, “The official (Prahallad) is corrupt.” He said the Lokayukta questioned Prahallad’s response and asked him to file a proper reply.
“I asked the chief minister (Yediyurappa) to order a probe,” he added.
“Nobody can question my integrity. I have lived like that,” Ramesh said in response to Prahallad’s accusations of blackmail.