KARNATAKA

Officials taken to task at ZP meet

TUMKUR, AUG. 1. N.Y. Hanumanthappa and S. Mallikarjunaiah, MPs, C. Channigappa, M.T. Krishnappa and J.C. Madhuswamy, MLAs, took the officials to task for their "failure" to respond to the people's problems at the Tumkur Zilla Panchayat meeting here on Saturday.

Mr. Mallikarjunaiah said the officials were expected to be through with the tasks assigned to them. "But it is not the case with the officials here. They have no details of what they are supposed to do. It is a tragedy,'' he added. Mr. Channigappa, who raised the rice racket, said a number of engineers and officials, who were in charge of the food-for-work programme, had been arrested in this connection. The MLAs, who headed the area-wise committees to oversee the implementation of relief works, could not escape from their responsibility, he added. Mr. Channigappa, however, expressed concern over non-utilisation of rice in the district and urged the officials to distribute it to the poor. Mr. Krishnappa, who is the former president of the Karnataka Government Employees' Association, took exception to the absence of the Deputy Commissioner, Mallikarjun B. Dyaberi, in the meeting and said that it was important. All the elected representatives would deliberate on development works taken up in the district. The Deputy Commissioner should have been present, he added.

Criticising the officials, Mr. Madhuswamy alleged that they had committed irregularities in the service matters of panchayat officials. Members of the panchayat criticised the officials for "misusing" office vehicles. Intervening in the matter, Mr. Channigappa said even some elected representatives were "misusing" office vehicles.

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