Rajeshwari says she was not apprised by officials of the works in progress
Lack of coordination between officials and elected representatives, and politicking by three main-stream political parties came to the fore in the run up to the Dasara, with Mayor N.M. Rajeshwari ordering a halt to all Dasara-related roadworks here on Wednesday.
Asphalting and other repair works have been put on hold owing to rains. “Given the prevailing condition, it is not possible to ensure quality works,” said the Mayor. She directed officials concerned to stop all works immediately and submit a report to her.
Ms. Rajeshwari and a section of the councillors from the Janata Dal (Secular) and the BJP, who addressed presspersons here on Wednesday, alleged that the Mayor was not kept in the loop by the officials and had not been briefed about the work in progress.
The ruling coalition also took exception to the allegations levelled by the Congress, which had said that the civic works in progress were substandard and had held the former responsible for it.
The Mayor said the civic works underway in the core area of the heritage zone was approved by the district administration and neither she nor the elected council had anything to do with it as they were inducted into office only on September 5.
“Though it was nearly 15 days since we took the oath, not a single official had apprised us of the work in progress. A single project of Rs. 1.5 crore has been split and subcontracted out to others. Majority of the roads in the city have potholes and even the UGD lines have been damaged, but there are no funds with the Corporation to take up works,” said the Mayor.
The general refrain of the Mayor and other elected councillors of the JD(S) and the BJP was that they were not responsible for the present mess that the Corporation was in and blamed the officials for it.
The Mayor also complained that despite repeated promises from the State government over the “timely” release of Dasara grants, not a single rupee had been released so far.
“Asphalting work during rains will compromise on quality and not last long. The public will then hold the councillors and the Mayor accountable for such lapses,” said Sandesh Swamy, former Mayor.
Mr. Swamy said the MCC was cash-strapped and the revenue was at an all-time low. It was imperative for the State government to release Dasara funds at once, he said. “Though successive governments had announced a cash grant ranging from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 crore for Dasara works, nothing was credited to the MCC,” he added.