Concern over some private colleges collecting tuition fee from OBC students

MACHILIPATNAM: Officials of various departments came under fire from elected representatives on various issues at a meeting of the District Review Committee (DRC) chaired by district in-charge Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao (Revenue) here on Tuesday.

Some of the issues that dominated the meeting were inadequate supply of fertilizers, non-payment of compensation to victims of spurious paddy and seed and non-implementation of the GO prohibiting professional colleges from collecting fee from OBC students in view of the Government’s scheme to reimburse their fee.

Though the meeting progressed without the usual high-pitch discussions and heated arguments, a good number of issues were raised by local MLA Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani), other MLAs K. Paratha Saradhi (Vuyyuru), Meka Venkata Pratapa Apparao (Nuzvid) and the sole TDP MLA who attended the meeting, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao (Nandigama). They all targeted the officials and even demanded disciplinary action for their alleged failure in their duties.

Mr. Saradhi and Mr. Venkataramaiah alleged that some professional colleges continued to charge tuition fee from OBC students despite an order from the Government that it would pay the fees and the students should not be asked to pay the same. They demanded that the District BC Welfare Officer be suspended forthwith, as the official had not done anything in this regard despite many reminders.

Mr. Prasada Rao promised to protect the interests of BC students, while district Collector Shailaja Ramaiyer said meetings would be conducted in colleges to prepare a list of students who needed to be reimbursed fees.

Mr. Venkataramaiah alleged that the officials of Agriculture Department had initially supplied most of the quantity of fertilizer to dealers, who managed to divert the stock to black market. Mr. Umamaheswara Rao said though he himself had unearthed the huge quantities of fertilizers stocked at Tadepalli near Vijayawada by some dealers, no action had been taken.

Joint Director for Agriculture Vaman Goud refuted the allegations and said that the stocks unearthed at Tadepalli were found to belong to farmers. He asserted that adequate quantities were supplied to the farmers.

The Collector said there was some problem because of the delay in arrival of rakes, but it had been addressed later. About half of the total quantity of fertilizers required by the farmers of West Krishna region for dry crops during the Rabi had been supplied in September to primary agricultural societies and the remaining half to dealers, she explained.

The Nuzvid MLA raised the issue of payment of compensation to only 679 of the total 1,359 farmers who suffered losses on account of the spurious T9 black gram seed supplied by a company in his constituency. He found fault with the explanation given by Mr. Vaman Goud that enumeration was done by the officials of NAFED. The in-charge Minister intervened and asked the Collector to move a file to ensure payment of compensation to all eligible farmers.