Gram Panchayats chiefs in Udupi allege disparity in water distribution

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Udupi, May 22: The issue of water shortage led to heated exchange of words in the meeting held to discuss the issue here at Taluk Panchayat on Wednesday.

The persons representing Gram Panchayats facing acute shortage of water accused disparity in distribution of funds to supply tanker water to the areas facing shortage of drinking water.

Speaking on the occasion, ZP CEO Prabhakar Sharma said the Deputy Commissioner directly releases funds to the Gram Panchayats facing shortage of water following the recommendations by the committee formed for the purpose in GP and village accountant and section engineers.

Udupi Taluk Panchayat EO Manjunathayya said that the funds are released based on the intensity of the problems and there is no disparity in allocations of funds.

Around Rs 30 lakhs are earmarked for the purpose in the first phase. He added that the DC had directed to release funds for 10 days in the first phase. Priority is given to non-sustainable Gram Panchayat which is incapable of mobilising resources. However, funds are released accordingly in the days to come.

GP in Kaup and Varamballi, Chantaru are receiving funds in the first phase. Around 36 GPs have been given funds to take up temporary measures to solve drinking water problems, he added.

The other issue that was discussed was with regard to the housing facility for the people residing in the government land since 15 years under Basava Vasati Yojane as per the new circular issued by Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation.

The CEO said the work was at halt as the poll code of conduct was clamped. The beneficiaries are exempted from the registration regulations. However, the people residing in the forest land are not eligible for the benefits.

He added that PDOs and Presidents of particular GP should look into all possibilities to avail the benefits to the beneficiaries.

Majur GP President alleged that around eight to ten houses do not have power facilities as they are not provided the letter by the PDOs of GP.

Bommarabettu President alleged that Tahsildar is reckless and the work in Revenue Department is mess. He added PDOs are misguided by Tahsildar. He demanded that Tahsildar should be present in the meeting. He also said if 200 houses are recommended under the programme, the number of houses will be reduced to 40 to 50 with the intervention of Tahsildar. However, the wrath of the people is targeted against GP Presidents. There are no absolute rights as such with GP Presidents.

Assistant Tahsildar said revenue department is in no way connected with housing scheme. GP should take the decision.

ZP President Upendra Nayak said revenue department is motionless and there are hordes of complaints against the department which remains unsolved.

Sharma said that around 20 Gram Panchayats have proposed the report by identifying the land in Udupi taluk. However, the report is not sent to Zilla Panchayat. In Karkala taluk, around 33 Gram Panchayaths have identified the land and also have sent the report to ZP. There should be impartial allocation of houses to the homeless needy.

The CEO also said that there is no difference between deemed forest and forest. Both are similar. All GP presidents and PDOs should be responsible enough to list out the people who are residing for more than 15 years in the government land.

The CEO said in order to make the decentralisation of power more meaningful, henceforth the proposals prioritised in ZP should be taken up for the recommendation in the Gram Sabhas, he added.

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