He asks officials to complete them within four months

P.T. Parameshwar Naik, Minister of State for Labour and in charge of the district, took exception to the style of functioning of the officials of the panchayat engineering division and the Karnataka Land Army while reviewing the progress of work on drinking water projects.

“You (officials) do not work with full responsibility. You do not visit the site proposed for the construction of impounding reservoir to ascertain the quality of soil surface and depend on third party for preparing estimates, based on which funds are released and spent. Ultimately, the purpose is not served because of faulty design and the people are deprived of drinking water,” Mr. Naik said while presiding over the quarterly meeting to review the implementation of Karnataka Development Programmes (KDP) here on Thursday.

Mr. Naik was irked when he was informed that two projects at Kuditini and Mincheri villages were still pending despite spending about Rs. 12 crore on them. He got annoyed when he was informed that due to pores in the impounding reservoir, water could not be stored and revised estimates had been proposed to lay geo-membrane mat to prevent percolation.

“Because of your (officials) negligence, we (elected representatives) have to face the wrath of people. It is shocking to hear that drinking water projects taken up a decade ago are yet to serve the purpose. I want you to complete the two projects within four months. Entrust the work to a qualified contractor, besides ensuring quality, failing which stern action will be initiated against you,” he said.

Shortage of doctors in primary health centres (PHCs) and government hospitals in rural areas dominated the meeting and the legislators urged the Minister to initiate steps to fill up the vacant posts of doctors.

District Health Officer said that only five doctors had applied for 21 vacant posts and only four specialists had applied for the 17 posts that were vacant. An MBBS doctor appointed on contract basis would be paid Rs. 27,500 a month and specialists Rs. 70,000 a month. Still, not many were willing to join, he said.

Solution

Mr. Naik said that the problem was not limited to Bellary district. It was there in other districts as well, he said and appealed to the legislators and elected representatives to persuade MBBS graduates to serve in government hospitals. “If they (doctors) are willing, we will give them the appointment order to join the services immediately. This way, I think we can solve the problem of shortage of doctors to some extent,” he said. B. Nagendra, Bheema Naik, B.M. Nagaraj, all MLAs, and several other elected representatives participated.

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