MLAs can play crucial role in the development of region in fields ranging from infrastructure and housing to education, feel sitting legislators and bureaucrats.
MLAs are in the fulcrum of development programmes and initiatives taken up in the Mangalore City Corporation and other parts of the district. “No work is undertaken without the knowledge and consent of the area MLA. The interest of the region should override his/her political affiliation. He/she should not be a stumbling block in development of the region,” said an IAS officer, who has been serving in State under various capacities.
MLA is involved in implementation of housing schemes including the Indira Awaas Yojana, Basava Vasati Yojane, Ashraya Housing Scheme and Vajpayee Urban Housing Schemes. The MLA is also involved in identifying roads to be improved under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The MLA chairs the periodical meeting held to review implementation of development schemes in a taluk.
MLA heads the committee selecting the beneficiaries under these schemes meant for providing houses for houseless. List of beneficiaries of the schemes are to be approved by the MLA. “It is not an easy task. MLA has to make a fine balance between aspiration of people and that of his party men. Ultimately it has to yield him/her votes necessary to get elected for another term,” said MLC Ganesh Karnik.
Former Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, who has come up from being a gram panchyat member, said the role of Legislator also involves simplifying rules that helps needy people advantage of housing and other welfare schemes.
“Just because a houseless person has built a house estimated above the eligible amount Rs. 4 lakh, he/she cannot be barred from coverage under the Ashraya Scheme.
An MLA has to go for revision of the estimated amount,” he said.
An MLA should be aware of the problems of the region and has to find solutions including ways of mobilising funds from various Central and State government schemes. Mr. Poojary said a constituency gets nearly Rs. 50 crore a year for the schemes implemented by the urban local bodies and panchayats. “People will appreciate, if an MLA puts in sincere efforts for improvement of basic necessities,” Mr. Poojary said.
Another senior bureaucrat said an MLA should use his clout to get funds from the government or should succeed in pooling in resources necessary for implementation of schemes.
He pointed that some of road and other works that could not be implemented in the district due to the State government’s failure to release the entire Rs. 10 crore for Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat.