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Karnataka - Mangalore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Personal trade-offs by corporators stall meeting

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, JAN. 31. The Mayor, K. Diwakar, on Saturday adjourned indefinitely the general body meeting of the Mangalore City Corporation council barely 45 minutes after it started. The move followed the refusal by members of the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to heed his suggestion not to level personal allegations against each other but take up issues listed on the agenda for discussion.

Trouble started when the Chief Whip, Krishnappa Mendon, moved a resolution condoling the death of the former Chief Minister, Ramakrishna Hegde. The House observed a minute's silence to pay respect to the leader.

Later, Mr. Diwakar announced that a scheme under which door numbers would be provided to those living in unauthorised quarters, would be extended by three months. Shankar Bhat of the BJP alleged that a storm water drain in Derebail had been blocked at the behest of the MLA, K. Vijaykumar Shetty. The authorities concerned had not taken steps to clear the block. This had resulted in stagnation of water. Even complaints to Mr. Diwakar and the Commissioner of the corporation, K.S. Nayak, had failed to get the authorities to act, he said.

Riled at his name figuring in the allegation, Mr. Shetty accused Mr. Bhat of making baseless allegations. He alleged that the promoter of a township, who was also a BJP leader, had flouted all rules laid down by the corporation by allowing sewerage to enter the drain. This had proved to be a major health hazard and many people in the area were suffering from malaria, he said.

Mr. Shetty claimed that the promoter had not built leach pits for the township, and added that the sewerage was contaminating water bodies in the area. The former Commissioner, J.R. Lobo, had even given directions in this regard to the authorities concerned to initiate action against the promoter, which was yet to be followed, he said.

Mr. Shetty's observation irked the BJP members, who said the allegations were "politically motivated". Mr. Bhat alleged that the MLA was not allowing corporators to function independently in their respective wards in his constituency. He was interfering in the implementation of development works, he said.

This led to sloganeering and counter-sloganeering by the corporators. At this juncture, Mr. Diwakar made a fervent appeal to the corporators to drop the issue and warned that he would adjourn the meeting if they did not do so. He even offered to settle the issue in his chambers once the meeting was over.

Later, he permitted Mr. Shetty to speak. The MLA said a few vested interests had tapped into the main water line of the corporation at Mary Hill and diverted it to a private tank. Water was being distributed from the tank, he said and added that while adjoining areas suffered from an acute water crisis, those connected to the private line enjoyed unlimited water supply.

Mr. Bhat said Mr. Shetty's observations were fabricated and there was no truth in it.

This led to renewed sloganeering with the BJP members staging a dharna in the well of the House. Mr. Diwakar, who adjourned the meeting for about 30 minutes, offered to resume it if the members behaved themselves. The meeting resumed but the situation remained unchanged, following which the Mayor again adjourned the meeting. Namita D. Rao, Deputy Mayor, was present.

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