D.N. Jagadish, Leader of the Opposition in the city corporation, and Dinesh K. Shetty, senior councillor, have taken exception to the claims of Mayor of Davangere Sudha Jayarudresh that many public works had been taken up with the Rs. 400-crore grants and that schemes worth about Rs. 8 crore to Rs. 10 crore had been taken up in each ward, irrespective of the party affiliations of the councillors concerned.
Dubbing her claims blatant lies, they urged the Mayor to present a White Paper on the amount of grants received by the corporation in the last four years and the manner in which it had been spent.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, Mr. Jagadish said that the Mayor had stated that schemes worth Rs. 10 crore had been taken up in each ward. On the contrary, except in five wards represented by prominent BJP councillors, no work worth more than Rs. 2 crore had been taken up in other wards in the past four years.
Following the statement of the Mayor, councillors were being looked at suspiciously by people, and many of those who were close to the councillors had even asked what did they do with Rs. 10 crore grants. He told the Mayor not to mislead people and put councillors in an embarrassing situation.
Mr. Jagadish criticised the Mayor for not ordering a Lokayukta inquiry into the substandard work carried out for Rs. 89 crore under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns, though the Mayor had given a ruling in the previous general body meeting held three months ago that such an action would be taken. Since the Mayor was reluctant to hand over the case to the Lokaukta, Mr. Jagadish said he had written to the Union Urban Development Ministry, along with the proceedings and ruling of the Mayor, and appealed to the government to get the case investigated.
N. Geethakumari, Undersecretary to the government had, in turn, written to the Commissioner of the Urban Development Directorate to examine the allegations and submit a report to the government for action, he said and gave copies of the letter of the Undersecretary to mediapersons.
He exuded confidence that all substandard works carried out under the scheme would be investigated and those responsible for them would be punished.
K.G. Shivakumar, councillor and former president of the municipality, said that seven wards represented by BJP councillorswere allocated Rs.10 crore each.