Task force constituted to check smuggling in every village panchayat: Collector

Members of the District Review Committee (DRC) have expressed regrets over the officials giving them an Action Taken Report on issues raised by them at the last meeting an year ago.

Madugula MLA Rama Naidu and Chodavaram MLA K.S.N. Raju on Sunday lambasted the ruling Congress for its “inaction” on many fronts, saying the government was suffering from “performance paralysis” and the administration from “stagnancy.” As people’s representatives, the TDP MLAs said they did not have a sense of achievement in the current dispensation.

Congress MLAs — M. Sreenivasa Rao of Bheemunipatnam constituency and Malla Vijaya Prasad of Visakha East Assembly constituency — took serious exception to the “baseless allegations” of general nature made against the government.

They asked the TDP MLAs to specifically point out omissions, if any, in their constituency and not make sweeping comments. Heated exchanges went on between the Congress and TDP MLAs for sometime.

Meanwhile, district in-charge Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao intervened and assured to look into specific complaints if given in writing, leading to restoration of normalcy. The Minister asked the members to study the ‘action taken report’ and give their complaints in writing if they were not satisfied with the replies given by the officials.

The MLAs, cutting across party lines, made a strong point against the thriving sand mafia in the district.

MLC M.V.S. Sarma said hundreds of lorries carrying smuggled sand from different parts of the district was a common sight every day. He said the authorities should either check the menace or auction the sand mines so that the government could be assured of revenue, failing which the government would stand to lose substantial revenue. He also spoke of officials-police-sand smugglers nexus.

District Collector V. Seshadri, sharing the concern of the members, said that a task force had been constituted to check sand smuggling in every village panchayat. Preventive Detention Act would be invoked on sand smugglers and stringent action taken, he added.

MLAs — Mr. Vijaya Prasad, Mr. Sreenivasa Rao, Tynala Vijaya Kumar, and Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu — demanded that the Irrigation Department hand over Meghadrigedda and Gambheeram reservoirs to the GVMC for better maintenance of the reservoirs.

The water holding capacity of reservoirs were declining due to silt accumulation, thereby affecting water storage and supply.

The in-charge Minister asked the department to take steps in that direction and said that he would tackle problems, if any, at the government level.

The members also expressed concern at the poor state of health infrastructure in the rural and Agency areas.

Mr. Prasada Rao asked members to send their demands list or queries to officials well before the DRC meeting to facilitate meaningful discussion and prevent loss of time.

Among those who participated in the meeting included Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, MLA and government whip Dronamraju Sreenivas, GVMC Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana, and Joint Collector Praveen Kumar.

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