Staff Correspondent

‘Condition of zilla panchayat roads is pathetic’

Government to be urged to send funds directly to panchayats

‘District will face a drinking water crisis in the next two months’

Udupi: The poor condition of roads maintained by the zilla panchayat dominated the general body meeting of Udupi Zilla Panchayat here on Monday.

Raju Poojary, member, said that the condition of zilla panchayat roads in the district was pathetic. But the Government had not released funds to the zilla panchayat to repair them. Instead, it was releasing funds to legislators for the purpose.

The legislators had their own set of priorities. “If the zilla panchayats are bypassed in this manner, why not disband them,” Mr. Poojary asked.

Bhujanga Shetty, member, said that the maintenance of 8,600 km of zilla panchayat roads in the district was the responsibility of the panchayat. People blamed the zilla panchayat members for the poor condition of roads. A resolution should be passed urging the Government to release funds directly to zilla panchayats, he said.

Problem

Vijaykumar Shetty, Chief Planning Officer, said that the head of account under which funds should be released for repair of roads was decided by the Government. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pranesh Rao said that the sentiments of the House would be conveyed to the Government.

With members unrelenting, zilla panchayat president Gladys Almeida said she would lead a delegation of members to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on March 2.

Mr. Shetty said that the district would face a drinking water crisis in the next two months. The Government had not released funds for tackling the problem, but Ministers were busy making statements that blank cheques would be issued to address the problem, he said. The House was informed that Rs. 3 crore was required to deal with the problem.

Ms. Almeida directed the CEO to suspend the secretary of Yellur Gram Panchayat for his alleged involvement in certain irregularities. N.B. Babu, member, said that executive officers of taluk panchayats should be held responsible for the actions of gram panchayat secretaries.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL