Special Correspondent

Rs. 70.19 crore additional grant sought for development activities

Opposition terms demand unrealistic

GULBARGA: The general body meeting of the Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat on Thursday gave its approval to the Rs. 331.21-crore annual action plan for 2008-09 and the action plan for the Rs 28.25-crore Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) for the year 2007-08.

The general body gave its approval after a prolonged discussion. The original size of the annual action plan prepared as per the norms fixed by the State Government was Rs. 261.02 crore and the zilla panchayat had sought an additional Rs. 70.19 crore for development activities.

The action plan includes allocations for the zilla panchayat, taluk panchayats and gram panchayats. While the proposed allocation for the zilla panchayat is Rs. 98.47 crore of the Rs 261.02 crore, the taluk panchayats have been allocated Rs. 71.78 crore and gram panchayats Rs. 90.76 crore. The allocations made for the zilla, taluk and gram panchayats in the additional Rs. 70.19 crore sought has not been mentioned.

Initiating the discussion on the action plan, Opposition leader Subash Rathod said the proposed increase of Rs 70.19 crore in the action plan was unrealistic and the State Government might not increase the allocation as demanded. The general body also gave its seal of approval to the BRGF action plan for the year 2007-08 which has been approved by the State Government.

Of the Rs. 28.25 crore sanctioned for the district to take up different development programmes under the BRGF, Rs 12.15 crore would be allocated to 335 gram panchayats, which is 43 per cent of the total allocation. The 10 taluk panchayats have been allocated Rs. 6.78 crore. The zilla panchayat has been allocated Rs 3.96 crore and Rs 3.95 crore has been allocated to 13 Urban Local Bodies. A sum of Rs 1.41 crore has been kept as a reserve fund for emergency purposes.

Action against official

The members forced the Chief Executive Officer to send Deputy Director of Horticulture Krishnamurthy on leave with immediate effect for releasing the payment of Rs. 10 lakh for construction of a tank despite a clear direction not to clear the bills on the plea that the selection of the site was not proper.

Mr. Jaffer told the agitated members that a detailed report would be submitted to the government on the entire episode of how the site was selected.