Kolar ZP CEO at the receiving end now

Accusations abound: Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting

The Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting on Friday saw a lot of commotion among the members and officers regarding various projects.

The district-level meeting, organised at the Zilla Panchayat auditorium, virtually began with Committee member Naganala V Manjunath allege of irregularities in the housing project and also accuse the chief executive officer S M Zulfikarullah of being hand in glove with the corrupt officers.

The CEO had recently suspended 13 Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) on charges of dereliction of duty.

“The Housing Board had requested Zulfikarullah on December 17 to organise an Assistant Commissioner-led investigation in the Srinivaspur Assembly constituency. The taluk Panchayat executive officer has not been instructed to undertake the investigation,” Manjunath said.

Manjunath also complained that a list of beneficiaries for the project had been prepared by forcibly availing of the Srinivaspur TP executive officer’s signature.

An annoyed Zulfikarullah, however, denied the charges.

‘Complaints flowing in’

Union Minister K H Muniyappa, who intervened, pacifying both Manjunath and Zulfikarullah, said there were complaints all over the district regarding the distribution of housing sites.

“Two officers should be appointed to each of the six constituencies in the district to conduct investigations. The officers should necessarily submit their reports on the matter within a fortnight. Take suitable action after that, even if it means cancelling the beneficiaries’ list if there have been cases of irregularities,” he told Zulfikarullah.

The Union government has already released Rs 24 crore for provision of drinking water. The State government too has granted Rs 64 crore for the district, both of which add up to a total of Rs 88 crore for Kolar district, Muniyappa said.

“The Deputy Commissioner and the CEO, along with the taluk panchayat executive officers, should both organise meetings at least once every 15 days to prevent any irregularities in the provision of the water to the people. Sinking of borewells and supply of tanker water all through the district are expensive. Funds in the district budget should henceforth be reserved for the expenditure on supply of water,” the minister instructed the officers.

Needs of the wild

Muniyappa also referred to the water needs of wild animals in the district. “The district has about 42,000 hectare of forest land. The shortage of drinking water in the area is forcing the wild animals to enter the border villages in search of water. Cement tanks should be placed in the forests and pits also dug to provide water to the wild animals,” he said.

“There are no fixed amounts reserved for such work, so we will have to prepare a special action plan to get the grants,” he told the forest officer.

Rs 1,000 crore for tanks

The Union government will release Rs one thousand crore towards development of tanks in Kolar and Chikkaballapur, said Muniyappa. However, he wanted desiltation works to be taken up at the earliest.

Reacting, the DC Vishwanath said a proposal worth Rs 555 crore to develop lakes in the district has already been submitted to the government and officials of Minor Irrigation Department have prepared an estimation list of each tanks for development.

About 841 hectare of encroached area around various tanks has been cleared in the district. But land sharks encroach the area, every time it is cleared, he said.

On conducting survey of tanks in the district, DC Vishwanath said that at least 180 days are required to survey the tanks. But owing to short staff, private agencies may be asked to conduct the survey and ZP has been asked to provide grants for it. Survey work will be taken up once the grants are approved, he added.
ZP president Chowdeshwari, vice-president Rathnamma and SP Ramnivas Sepat were present.

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