Government rules and regulations do not permit it: Prakash

Members of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat on Wednesday urged Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ZP K.N. Vijay Prakash to sanction funds to them for drilling at least five borewells in each of their constituencies to mitigate the drinking water problem this summer.

After much debate over their demand at a meeting of the zilla panchayat here, Mr. Prakash rejected it stating that the government rules and regulations did not permit it.

The members argued that though they were aware that task sorces headed by MLAs were authorised to take a decision on where borewells should be drilled for drinking water supply, the panchayat, on humanitarian grounds, should sanction funds for members.

It was because they had to face the wrath of the people in villages for failing to mitigate the problem. They said the MLAs gave approval for borewell drilling as per their (MLAs) priorities. It would not help zilla panchayat members much, they said.

U.T. Khader, MLA, said that the members could approach the MLAs and apprise them of their priority villages where borewells could be drilled.

Each MLA could sanction three such borewells depending on priority.

The MLA said that it was not important who sanctioned it. The focus should be on mitigating the drinking water problem.

Not satisfied with the MLA's reply, the members said that there was a need for more borewells.

The “MLAs quota” was not enough. They urged the CEO to pass an order to this effect on the spot.

Mr. Prakash said that the government had laid certain rules and regulations for drilling borewells. They could not be drilled rampantly and funds could not be given to panchayat members for the purpose.

Only MLAs and the Deputy Commissioner could take a decision in this regard. The matter could be discussed with the Deputy Commissioner once he returned from leave.

Members of the Opposition and treasury benches traded charges against each other with regard to the government's social security benefit schemes. When president K.T. Shailaja Bhat lost control over the meeting twice, two members of the Opposition threatened to boycott it if she did not control the ruling party members.

The members objected to the absence of Revenue officials at the meeting.

Mr. Prakash said that the Education Department officials had been instructed to visit Koraga colonies in the next three months and counsel parents not to force their children to dropout of schools. Health officials had been instructed to monitor the health of Koraga community on a periodic basis.