Lokayukta probe to be sought into drinking Kinnigoli water project

10:37 AM, Friday, October 30th, 2015

Kinnigoli water projectMangaluru : Following vociferous demand by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat on Thursday resolved to ask the government to order a Lokayukta probe into the multi-village drinking water project being implemented around Kinnigoli that lies between Mulki and Moodbidri.

Raising the issue at a panchayat meeting here on Thursday, Ishwar Kateel said despite spending more than Rs. 10 crore over five years on the project, not a single village has got water supply. Though the contractor has been blacklisted, the same person has been allowed to continue the work, Mr. Ishwar alleged.

“If the Yettinahole water diversion project is a multi-crore corruption racket, the Kinnigoli project is a mini-Yettinahole project,” Mr. Ishwar alleged. Though the council had resolved to refer the issue to Lokayukta probe in its August meeting, the Chief Executive Officer has not taken any action, he alleged.

Joining him, Janardhana Gowda alleged that there appeared concerted efforts to protect the guilty. Otherwise, the earlier resolution, which was for ‘seeking’ Lokayukta probe, would not have been altered as the one ‘submitting a proposal to the government for the probe.”

Kinnigoli water projectThough CEO P.I. Srividya attempted to defend the administration saying considerable progress has been achieved in the project, members refuted her claim saying not a single drop of water has reached beneficiary villages. If the government did not respond within 15 days, the panchayat should have gone ahead with seeking probe on its own, members said.

President Asha Thimmappa Gowda said since the project was tendered by the State government, its nod was sought for the probe. Now that the government has not responded, the panchayat would ask it to recommend Lokayukta probe, she said.

Mr. Ishwar warned if the panchayat does not go for a Lokayukta probe, he would seek one in his individual capacity and he has all the necessary documents.

Members cutting across party lines, charged Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) being indifferent to woes of people who are facing shortage of water as well as ignoring directives by the government.

M.S. Mohammed, Mamata Gatti, Janardhana Gowda, Santosh Kumar Rai, vice-president Satish Kumpala and others charged that Mescom did not provide the required power connection to as many as 42 drinking water projects since over one year. With their term ending in two months, the members were more concerned about facing the electorate.

At one stage, president Ms. Gowda warned Mescom of recommending stringent action against officials concerned and took objection to the absence of senior officials concerned in the meeting. She directed the power supply company to complete the work within 30 days to all the drinking water projects, pending as well as new.

The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution against the Yettinahole water diversion project.

Moving the resolution, president Asha Thimmappa Gowda said the district has been facing scarcity of drinking water. The project to divert 24 tmcft ‘excess rain water,’ if implemented, would affect severely the life in the district. People are not against sharing water if available, she said. The council passed the resolution unanimously.


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