Lokayukta police’s new spacious office is ready near Urva Police Station. It’s been ready since last November. But the anti-corruption police force is still holed up in the old cramped dilapidated office on the Deputy Commissioner’s Office premises. The unit is waiting for Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to cut the ribbon to the new building before moving in.
The function was scheduled to be held in December but it was cancelled because of the mourning for the former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral. Forty days later, the wait for Mr. Shettar continues.
Lokayukta police have been functioning for nearly a decade from the old dilapidated Deputy Commissioner’s Office. Additional Director General of Police H.N. Sathyaranarayana Rao said that the present Lokayukta police building lacked privacy and the right working environment.
Mr. Rao said that as the building was in the midst of several government department offices, people could not gather the confidence to file complaints against officials.
An officer, who has served for a long time in the Mangalore Lokayukta police office, said it was difficult to keep secret the actions taken on complaints. “As it is located on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, any increase in the number of vehicles at our office would alert officials. It has been difficult to initiate action on complaints against officials who work at offices located around our office,” the officer said.
Mr. Rao said the new building would help Lokayukta police to function independently and be productive.
The foundation stone for the four-storey Lokayukta police building was laid by the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde in February 2011, six months before completing his five-year term in office. This building was to be constructed in two phases at a cost of Rs. 1.6 crore.
The ground floor and the other two floors of the building were constructed by the State Public Works Department at a cost of Rs. 65 lakh in June 2012. Furniture required for the two floors were bought by November. A proposal to provide more furniture was pending .
Mr. Rao said the Chief Minister was expected to come to Dakshina Kannada in connection with work related to two or three development programmes during the second week of January.
“We hope to get the building inaugurated and move to the new premises by the second week of January,” Mr. Rao told The Hindu.