Grants meant for border villages remain unused

Border Development Authority chairman C. Somashekar visiting Border Bhavana in Belagavi on Monday. Assistant Director of Kannada and Culture Vidyavati Bhajantri and others accompanied him.  

Karnataka Border Development Authority chairman C. Somashekar has expressed concern that funds released by the State government for various development works in Belagavi and border villages have remained largely unutilised.

The State government has released ₹14 crore for various works in the border areas since 2010. But officials of various departments have been negligent. A large part of the funds are not utilised.

Officials have sent utilisation certificates of only a part of the funds released, he remarked in a meeting with senior officials in Belagavi on Monday. If the utilisation certificates are not received by the State government in a month, further grants will stop, he said.

The authority is the nodal agency for the development of border areas and to monitor fund flow for border districts.

Accounts of works taken up in Border Bhavan and Culture Bhavan and other projects are still pending. Work on some projects, including Kannada Bhavan, are pending too. They should be completed soon, he said. He asked officers to appoint teachers in border schools and hire temporary teachers if needed.

He said that he will request the government to extend beneficial schemes, including mid-day meal and distribution of uniforms and cycles, to cover students who attend Kannada schools in Maharashtra too.

He asked officers to visit border villages once in a week to listen to their grievances.

Rani Channamma University has been tasked with a socio-economic and educational study of border areas. This will form the basis of a development scheme later, he said.

A cultural affairs fund will be set up in gram panchayats, he said.

Regional Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas said that writers in border areas needed to be supported by the government. Gram panchayats and other government bodies should buy books and help cultivate the reading habit, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:06:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/grants-for-border-villages-remain-unused/article35702736.ece

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