Ruling party MLAs at DRC meeting take serious view of ‘lapses’
Opposition MLAs did not attend the meet due to bandh
Progress of floodbank works also reviewed
SRIKAKULAM: Various irregularities in the execution of the Indiramma housing scheme and sanction of pensions to ineligible persons dominated the proceedings of the District Review Committee meeting held at the Collectorate here on Friday. Minister for Forests, Environment, Science and Technology, Sastrucharla Vijayaramaraju, who is in-charge of the district, Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, ZP Chairman Palavalasa Rajasekharam and Collector Nagulapalli Srikanth were present. Because of the bandh, opposition MLAs did not turn up at the meeting and it was the Congress MLAs who took the role of the opposition.
When the issue of non-payment of even the first instalment for as many as 24,000 houses came up, an evidently upset Revenue Minister observed: “if this is allowed to continue, no progress could be made. Identify the officials who were responsible for this and take action against them. This is the only way to get progress in the execution of the Indiramma housing scheme. There is a gap between the scheme’s unit cost and the actual cost. Against this background, how could a beneficiary complete the house unless money is made available,” Mr. Prasada Rao said. However, Mr. Vijayaramaraju said that he was not keen on punishment. Steps should be taken to complete houses expeditiously, he added. In all about 86,000 houses were grounded in the first second phase in the district.
Itchapuram MLA Nareshkumar Agarwal wondered why no action was taken even specific irregularities were brought to the notice of the meeting. If things were allowed to drift like this, the scheme would be a big fraud, Mr. Agarwal said.
Tekkali MLA Hanumanthu Appayya Dora pointed out to the 17 specific cases of ineligible persons getting the benefit of pension at Deenabandupuram village. “No eligible person should be denied the benefit and at the same time no ineligible person should get it.
It should be ensured by monitoring the scheme continuously,” Mr. Prasada Rao said.
During the review of floodbank works, the meeting was informed that only temporary repairs were proposed to be taken up this season. For this, vulnerable points and areas which had been damaged during the floods last season were being identified. Floodbank works in all aspects were scheduled to be completed by June 2009, the meeting was informed. For Thotapalli irrigation projects, Rs. 450 crore had been allotted and so far Rs.320 crore was spent.
It was proposed to be completed by 2009. The Revenue Minister wanted time schedule to be fixed for completion of the works and penalties be imposed on contracting agencies for not sticking to the schedule.
Responding to a question by the Minister, officials informed him that water from Vamsadhara for the ensuing kharif season would be released on July 22.
Mr. Prasada Rao wanted further advancement of release date so that crops would not be exposed to the hazards of floods and other natural calamities.