Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: Upset over the absence of some senior officials of Mangalore City Corporation at a meeting convened by him, the chairman of Third Finance Commission A. G. Kodgi said here on Monday that he would call for explanation from them.

Addressing the councillors and officials at the corporation’s office, Mr. Kodgi said that he was unhappy over the officials’ inability to answer his queries properly. “I have not come here for amusement,” he said. It came to his knowledge that the commissioner of the corporation had gone on leave on Monday.

The officers of Accounts, Health and Records were not present at the meeting. When Mr. Kodgi wanted information on handling of solid wastes in corporation limits, the two environment engineers of the corporation were not there to respond. However, they turned up after joint commissioner S. Ajit Kumar Hegde summoned them.

Mr. Kodgi said that about eight months ago, the commission had sent a questionnaire to the corporation to the problems being faced by it. The commissioner was to revert to the commission with replies after consulting the officials and elected representatives. “The corporation did not return it,” Mr. Kodgi said.

The joint commissioner replied that he was not aware of the questionnaire and that he would revert after consulting the commissioner.

When Mr. Kodgi asked: “How many declared slums are there in corporation limits?” there was a lull for sometime as the officials looked at one another as to who should answer. Although an official from Town Planning department tried to reply, it was not specific.

Mr. Kodgi said that as per the information available with the commission, there were 28 slums in Dakshina Kannada. Of them, 18 were officially declared and the rest yet to be declared. “How can the corporation not have the details?” he asked.

Mr. Kodgi did not get a reply when he asked: “How many sanctioned posts are lying vacant in the corporation?”.

M. Shankar Bhat, the chief whip in the council, only said that the corporation was facing dearth of surveyors. “At least there should be three surveyors,” he added.