Staff Correspondent

Councillors call for a Lokayukta inquiry into

the complaints

Release of Rs. 41 lakh for a flower show comes

in for criticism

HASSAN: Councillors cutting across party lines criticised City Municipal Council Commissioner Shivananje Gowda for “ignoring” the elected body at the general body meeting of the CMC here on Tuesday.

They also decided to refer the alleged irregularities committed by the commissioner to the Lokayukta, if Mr. Gowda did not reply to their charges.

CMC president Ambika Ravishankar charged that Mr. Gowda had no respect for democratically elected bodies.

She alleged that he sought guidance from the Deputy Commissioner on all administrative matters and did not inform the CMC on the action taken.

The CMC refused to approve the decision of the commissioner to release Rs. 41 lakh for a flower show, she said. Mr. Gowda released the money on the direction of the Deputy Commissioner without the approval of the council, she said.

Ms. Ravishankar alleged that on Saturday, the Deputy Commissioner refused to clarify her queries on why the district administration was demolishing shops around Devikere.

Councillors joined her in demanding an explanation from Mr. Gowda about how CMC staff were allowed to assist in clearing encroachments around Devikere although it was May Day and a holiday.

Congress councillor Yeshavanth said no general body meetings of the CMC had been conducted in the past six months, except for the budget presentation, although the rules required that one meeting be held every month.

Janata Dal (S) councillor H.M. Suresh alleged irregularities in works, tenders and local audit. He demanded a central audit and a Lokayukta probe into the matter.

Mr. Suresh noted that the commissioner refused to release Rs. 5,000 each to two swimmers participating in a national competition, but released Rs. 41 lakh to the district administration for conducting a flower show. Meanwhile, grants meant for the welfare of SC/STs had not reached the beneficiaries, he charged.

Calling for a Lokayukta inquiry, he said: “If we do not check corruption, there will be no development.”

Councillor K.T. Prakash objected to tenders being called overnight.