Mangaluru, oct 07, 2018: The council of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat on Saturday resolved to get an inquiry done through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the panchayat, Selvamani R., on the reported friction between the in-charge Executive Officer of Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat and panchayat development officers (PDOs) and allegations on the financial demand by the officer in question for release of budgetary grants to the gram panchayats and promotions of PDOs in the taluk.
Mr. Selvamani, a 2013 batch IAS officer, took charge as the new CEO of the panchayat on Saturday and attended his first meeting of the council.
G. Sadananda, Assistant Director of Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat who also held the additional charge of Executive Officer (EO), had been reportedly caught on camera on September 15 admitting before Y. Bharat Shetty, MLA, Mangaluru City North, that he was collecting bribes from PDOs as he needed to pay higher-ups in the Finance Department for release of grants. The admission was reportedly made following a visit by Mr. Shetty to the taluk panchayat office following protests by the PDOs over delay by the Executive Officer in clearing the budget grants of gram panchayats.
Following this, the former panchayat CEO M.R. Ravi issued a notice to Mr. Sadananda seeking an explanation. Not satisfied with the explanation, Mr. Ravi relieved Mr. Sadananda from the additional charge of Executive Officer on September 18. He asked N. Sujanchandra Rao, Assistant Executive Engineer, Panchayatraj Engineering Sub-division, Mangaluru to shoulder the charge of the Executive Officer.
Raising the matter at the council meeting on Saturday the elected members said that it is not clear whether Mr. Sadananda, who did not attend the council meeting on Saturday, has handed over the additional charge or not.
It is said that even after the incident a week ago, he has cleared 40 files in the taluk panchayat.
There are also allegations that when he was holding the additional charge of EO, some PDOs had been promoted in return for financial favour.
The members demanded a thorough inquiry into all issues and allegations.
Mr. Selvamani agreed to their demand.