Leader of the Opposition in the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) council Harinath has alleged that the civic body is not serious enough in completing concreting of many roads here at the earliest.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, he said the Opposition members would stage a dharna in the council meeting on Monday next, to bring pressure upon the Mayor to ensure quicker work on the projects.

Mr. Harinath said that due to slow progress in concreting of roads, many people were facing problems. While many roads were being concreted on one side, the other sides were in poor shape. Hence, traffic could not move fast. Concreting works were resulting in frequent traffic jams, he added.

He alleged that work on the stretch between Kavoor and Marakada on the Mangalore-Bajpe Road (airport road) was going on too slowly. Likewise, the civic body had not completed the work on the stretch between Lower Bendoorwell Circle and Horticulture Junction, and between Kuntikana and KSRTC Junction.

Mr. Harinath alleged that a private technical consultant, Dharmaraj, who had been appointed by the corporation, was unnecessarily interfering in road concreting work, resulting in the delays. “In some cases, the consultant has not provided technical inputs to some contractors on time, and in some instances, he has got the works stopped for no valid reason,” he claimed.

Interference

The Opposition leader said the consultant was acting as an “alternative Mayor”. He alleged that the Mayor, M. Shankar Bhat, from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had become “weak”, and had failed to control rising interference by this consultant.

He demanded that the corporation appoint two more technical consultants and not give scope for monopoly by the one already appointed.

The Opposition leader alleged that the civic body had stopped issuing door numbers for reasons only known to the officials. It should restart issuing them, he added.

He felt “water adalats” being conducted by the Mayor had not yielded the desired results. The authorities of the private contractor, appointed by the corporation to issue on-the-spot water bills, continued to issue hefty bills to many people.

Mr. Harinath also said the corporation officials were harassing those who had just completed building houses, for submission of “occupancy certificate”. In addition, they were also harassing people for submission of building licences.

He said the corporation had demolished the market building at Bejai a year ago. As a result, traders there had been forced to carry out their business on the roadside. Still, no new complex had been built, he added.

Mr. Harinath also said the Opposition members were opposed to a corporation proposal to supply round-the-clock water to the coal storage yard of the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL), which will come up at the New Mangalore Port premises.

M. Shashidhar Hegde, former Mayor, and other Congress councillors were present.