Some members want division of district, while others oppose it
The Uttara Kannada Zilla Panchayat meeting witnessed acrimonious scenes over the issue of bifurcation of the district. Some members openly advocated the division of the district while others opposed it.
When the members from the up-ghat areas of the district pressed for a resolution opposing the inclusion of Banavasi and surrounding areas in the new Shikaripur district, zilla panchayat president Lakshman Shanbhag suggested that a resolution be adopted opposing the division of the district.
Some members from Sirsi and Yellapur taluks objected to the suggestion saying that they were only opposed to the inclusion of Banavasi in Shikaripur taluk and not to the division of Uttara Kannada district. They said that if the Government wanted to create new district with Sirsi as headquarter by dividing Uttara Kannada, then that is acceptable to them.
However, some members from the lower-ghat areas opposed the division of Uttara Kannada. In the end, the meeting did not pass any resolution.
Subhadra Devadiga, member from Bhatkal taluk, alleged that Uday Naik, executive officer of the Bhatkal Taluk Panchayat, uses a closed-door room which is not his chamber while discharging his duties.
She alleged that though there was a public protest and the door of the room was broken open by the public, the official was not transferred.
Vijay Mohanaraj, Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat, said that Mr. Uday Naik had been warned and if he was found to be using the closed-door room, other than his chamber, again, then action will be taken.
Mankalu Vaidya, another member from Bhatkal taluk, alleged that there are no doctors and nurses in the taluk hospital at Bhatkal and the District Health Officer had relieved all doctors from the hospital after they were transferred without making any alternative arrangements.
To this, Mr. Vijay Mohanaraj asked the District Health Officer to make alternative arrangements immediately and told the members that new doctors will be appointed soon.
The District Health Officer said that there were 30 health centres rendering service 24 hours a day and seven days a week in the district. However, there were no delivery cases in 11 of these centres and they had to be closed down. Now, only 19 are in operation.
The members objected to this saying that there were no doctors in these centres and that nurses were handling delivery cases.
In case of an emergency, such arrangement may result in the death of the pregnant woman, they feared. They asked the District Health Officer to appoint doctors and wait for three months and if, even then there was no response in these centres, then they can be closed down, they said.
Some members objected to a Government Order in connection with water supply. The district is divided into six new subdivisions and two or more taluks were added to each subdivision, the officials said.
However, most of the members said that the old system should be continued. They said that the new sub-divisions will lead to more chaos in water supply. The officials said that the money released by the Union Government was not properly used in the previous years in different States and hence, the new guidelines were issued by the Government.
This was the last meeting of the present elected House of the zilla panchayat.