ANDHRA PRADESH

Flood works: civic officials pulled up

Special Correspondent

KURNOOL: Minister for Municipal Administration A. Ramnarayan Reddy pulled up municipal officials for tardy progress of flood works despite allocation of funds.

Reviewing the progress of works along with Chairman of the Legislative Council A. Chakrapani and Housing Minister Shilpa Mohan Reddy here on Monday, he said the municipal corporation had grossly failed to utilise the funds amounting to Rs. 47 crore released to the corporation. Hardly Rs. 17 crore had been spent so far as the municipal officials were struggling to finalise the tenders.

Reacting to the plea of the officials pertaining to shortage of engineers, the Minister said the technical staff would be deputed to Kurnool from Hyderabad and other places.

On the controversy raging over the waiver of property tax, the Minister clarified that the government could not do it except deferring the payment and waiving the penal charges. Also, the Minister expressed displeasure over delay in execution of water works which were sanctioned long ago. The works were scheduled to be completed in October last year. At least they should have made the water schemes ready by summer.

Mill workers' protest

Meanwhile, the 500-odd workers of Sri Sai Rayalaseema Paper Mill are gearing up for a fight to protest the undeclared layoff. The mill was closed since flooding on October 2 last year.

Sri Sai Rayalaseema Paper Mill Staff and Workers Union leader K. Rajeswara Reddy said the management was asking the workers to quit unofficially and accept gratuity. He said the workers would accept only full package as per the labour rules. He said the management owed some Rs. 3 crore to the workers.