Public Accounts Committee flays official apathy

Finds lack of effort to prevent invasion of wild animals

The Tamil Nadu Assembly Public Accounts Committee came down heavily on the Department of Forests for not properly utilising the funds allocated for digging trenches to check invasion of wild animals particularly elephants from the Western Ghats into the ranches close to the forest during a review meeting held here on Thursday.

After the committee, led by Chairman S. Durai Murugan, inspected various development projects getting implemented across the district for two days since Wednesday, it conducted a review meeting on Thursday.

“Though ₹ 2 crore has been allotted for digging trenches to check invasion of wild animals into the cultivable lands, only ₹ 30 lakh has been spent. Besides, trenches dug in a few spots have not been properly maintained and invasion of the wild animals into the farmlands continues causing crop damage,” added Mr. Durai Murugan.

He noted that the funds allotted for rehabilitation of monkeys rescued from human habitations had not been utilised properly.

He expressed displeasure over poor maintenance of Department of Horticulture’s Eco Park near Five Falls in Courtallam.

Kadayanallur MLA and a member of the committee K.A.M. Mohamed Abubucker deplored bad condition of Tirunelveli – Tenkasi Highway, which is to be upgraded as a four-way.

When he wanted to know from officials about work, he was informed that the first tender floated for awarding the project had been cancelled and a second tender has to be floated shortly.

When the question fixing of jammers in Palayamkottai Central Prison was raised, a junior-level officer representing the jail Superintendent Krishnakumar tried to give a reply.

As Mr. Durai Murugan was upset with the reply, he asked the Prison Superintendent to come to the meeting immediately.

Even as Mr. Durai Murugan was thanking officials and assured them that he was not for taking any action against officials for minor failure in discharging their duties, Mr. Krishnakumar entered the hall and said he was participating in another meeting.

While Mr. Durai Murugan did not say anything about the official’s absence in the meeting, Secretary of the Committee Srinivasan asked him to come to Chennai to appear before the Committee with appropriate reply.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 1:35:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/public-accounts-committee-flays-official-apathy/article25796087.ece

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