KARNATAKA

Notice issued to former municipal chief

RAICHUR, JULY 24. The Deputy Commissioner, G.N. Nayak, has issued a show-cause notice to M. Eranna, former President of the Raichur City Municipal Council. Mr. Eranna has been charged with deliberate dereliction of duty, misuse of funds, and violation of rules under Section 76(2) and 308(1) of the Karnataka Municipal Act, 1964 and the Karnataka Municipal Limitation of Powers of Contractors Regulation while implementing developmental works in Raichur city for four years from 1997-98.

The show-cause notice, which was served on Mr. Eranna on Friday according to directions from the Directorate of Municipal Administration, alleged that he had deliberately violated the rules and misused public funds to the tune of Rs. 1.29 crores. The notice highlighted the need initiate legal action against Mr. Eranna.

The Deputy Commissioner said that Mr. Eranna was solely responsible for committing such deliberate acts involving a loss of public funds.

The notice asked Mr. Eranna to give an explanation within seven days, describing why he should not be held responsible according to the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Act.

Charges

While referring to an investigation report submitted by the Joint Director of the Directorate of Municipal Administration, the Deputy Commissioner pointed out that during his term, Mr. Eranna had deliberately violated the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Act while taking a decision to construct 152 shops on municipal land in various parts of the city. In addition, he had also violated rules when allotting shops on lease. The Deputy Commissioner charged that the council headed by Mr. Eranna had violated procurement norms while purchasing electrical equipment, including high-mast and sodium vapour lamps. It had purchased material worth Rs. 48.42 lakhs by calling quotations from local suppliers instead of floating tenders according to the provisions of the Act.

Violation

The council had also violated the Act by purchasing material worth Rs. 7.39 lakhs to lay distribution lines for drinking water supply in Manikprabhu Layout, Savitry Colony, Vasavinagar, Jawaharanagar, Amarkhed Layout, Vidyanagar, and Panchanmukhi Layout in the city. It had implemented 17 works in the absence of any tenders, he said. The council had also allotted civil works worth Rs.12.85 lakhs to contractors on a piece-contract basis and had taken up civil works worth Rs. 1.48 lakhs by altering the estimates.

Pointing out the deliberate violation of norms by Mr. Eranna in the construction of roads and filling up of trenches in several localities in the city, the Deputy Commissioner said that Mr. Eranna had spent Rs. 13.30 lakhs to lay cement roads in Jahirabad locality and spent a huge amount for filling trenches on a stretch of road between Gunj Circle and Basaveshwara Circle when the same work had been carried out by the Public Works Department.

In another case, Mr. Eranna had got a road constructed in Siyatalab locality at a cost of Rs. 2 lakhs by entrusting the work on contract without floating tenders. He had also cleared bills worth Rs. 43.46 lakhs towards the purchase of various materials from a single firm.

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