KARNATAKA

`Govt. not cooperating with Lokayukta'

Bangalore Nov. 24. The Working President of the State Yuva Janata Dal (Ssecular), K.N.Chakrapani, has alleged that the State Government denied cooperation and support to the Lokayukta, Justice N.Venkatachala, in his fight against corruption in administration.

In a statement to the Press on the State Cabinet's decision to deny suo motu powers to the Lokayukta, Mr. Chakrapani said that the Krishna Government had mired itself in major corruption scandals.

Instead of cooperating with the Lokayukta, some of the ministers themselves attacked the holder of the high office. The high-powered committee to tackle corruption headed by the Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, himself had hardly begun its work.

Listing the major corruption scandals, Mr. Chakrapani said they were the involvement of a Cabinet minister in the swindling of Rs. 240 crore by city municipalities around Bangalore in the purchase of chemicals to deal with the coconut mite menace, corruption in the zilla panchayats of Kodagu, Bidar, Udupi, Bangalore Rural, Davangere, Shimoga, Belgaum, Tumkur, and Uttara Kannada, writing off of arrears of over Rs. 400 crore due from excise contractors, and similar action with regard to the Rs. 47 crore owed to the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) as power tariff by another Cabinet minister.

To the list of maladministration could be added the failure to complete 31 lift irrigation works in the Cauvery Basin and the promise to provide 55 litres per head in rural areas.

That the Minister for Urban Development, D.K.Shivakumar, had complained of threat to his life from a former Cabinet colleague, S.R.Kashappanavar, was illustrative of the image and calibre of the ministers.

Mr. Chakrapani also questioned the utility of the 13 task forces set up by the Government.

The constitution of such task forces, packed with persons distinguished in various fields, businessmen, and industrialists, was the distinctive feature of the Krishna administration. One of them (on water supply and drainage) was headed by the Chief Minister himself.

The reports submitted by most of the task forces had been gathering dust.

They had neither helped in toning up the administration nor in benefiting the common people.

The Government could save money by abolishing them, he said.