Bengaluru: There was no whitewashing the truth for PWD minister, H C Mahadevappa on Wednesday. While he boasted of the many achievements of his ministry at the foundation stone laying ceremony for as many as 10 projects worth Rs 200.95 crore in the city, he was confronted with the corruption and maladministration dogging it by a host of political leaders, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Although Mr Siddaramaiah tried to sugarcoat his criticism , his meaning was all too clear. “Dr Mahadevappa is making all effort to improve the department’s style of functioning, but it is still not enough,” he said, adding, “We need roads that dont get washed away by one spell of rain. Whenever I have asked engineers, why newly constructed roads get washed away, they invariably blame lack of funds. I don’t know where the money released by the state exchequer goes.”
The Chief Minister then went on to advise engineers to honestly build roads that could withstand wear and tear for at least a year.
Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa and Legislative Council chairman, D H Shankar Murthy too wondered how projects of the PWD could be inferior to those carried out decades ago despite the advancement in technology and structural engineering. “It is ironical that buildings built by great engineers like Sir M. Visvesvaraya and his successors are still standing tall and more recent projects of PWD engineers are either crumbling or require serious repair,” observed Mr Murthy.
Mr Thimmappa was more scathing in his criticism saying the hands of PWD engineers had developed “open pores” which needed filling to stop pilferage and improve the quality of construction in the state. The new projects, which were kickstarted on the occasion, include construction of a 200 room Kumara Krupa guest house annexe costing Rs 80 crore, family quarters for MLAs costing Rs 35 crore, staff quarters for C and D group employees on Crescent road (Rs 18 crore), a Cauvery guest house annexe (Rs 18 crore) and flats in Koramangla (Rs 7 crore).