‘High Court directed Government to draw up the calendar of events'
‘On May 11, Yeddyurappa announced the Government will extend support to the panel'
‘However, commission has not received any direction on commencing the census or funds'
MYSORE: Chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes C.S. Dwarakanath has appealed to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to draw up a calendar of events to commence the caste-based census in the State.
In a letter to the Chief Minister dated May 12, 2010, Mr. Dwarakanath said that the Karnataka High Court had directed the Government to draw up a calendar of events. If the Government complied with the directive and extended the logistic support needed to conduct the census, the commission would complete the task in the stipulated time.
He added that he would not continue as chairman after the completion of the census.
It is significant that no caste-based census has been conducted after Independence. The only such survey was conducted in 1931. On May 11, Mr. Yeddyurappa announced that the Government was prepared to extend all support to the commission in conducting the survey.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Dwarakanath said that based on Mr. Yeddyurappa's statement, he had written a letter to the Chief Minister stating that he had briefed him about the funds made available by the Union Government (Rs.21.05 crore) and the previous Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government (Rs.1 crore) and sought his support to conduct the census. Mr. Yeddyurappa was also reminded of his assurance of extending support to conduct the census and releasing Rs. 17.05 crore, he added.
He regretted that though Mr. Yeddyurappa announced that the Government had issued a direction to the commission to complete the census and stated that the Government had released Rs. 25 crore for the purpose, the commission neither received any direction in this regard nor funds.
Mr. Dwarakanath said that there was no response to the repeated appeals made to the Government seeking support to conduct the census and a detailed letter written on September 14, 2009.
“Even after that the commission wrote a few more letters which failed to elicit a response,” he said.
However, in view of the recent statement, the commission wrote a letter on May 12, 2010 detailing the preparations made to conduct the census hoping that the Chief Minister would respond favourably, he said.
“Including the Rs.1 crore released by the State Government in 2004-05 and Rs. 7 crore of the Rs. 21-crore grant released by the Centre in 2005-06, the commission had received a total sum of Rs. 8 crore for the census so far. “We are waiting for the Government to release the remaining Rs. 14 crore released by the Centre,” he said.
A sum of Rs.25.5 crore was the estimated cost when it was decided to take up the census.
Owing to escalation, a revised estimate of Rs. 43.5 crore was submitted to the Government. Mr. Dwarakanath noted that posting of a member-secretary, filling eight vacant posts, support from all government departments, and most importantly release of funds would accelerate the census process.
“We are expected to complete the survey by May 2011. The commission is confident of accomplishing the mammoth task if the needed support is extended by the Government,” Mr. Dwarakanath said.