Mangaluru, Jun 22, 2018 : This rainy season is again a tough season for the city netizens. On one hand, heavy rain continues to lash the city, on the other, most stormwater drains that ensure smooth flow of water continue to remain full of soil/garbage.
Though the 14-day ‘extra time’ given by DK DC Sasikanth Senthil to the expert committee to furnish an in-depth report on encroachments has ended, it is unlikely to come up in the near future. The government’s move following a direction from the Election Commission to transfer officials before the polls and reinstate them afterwards has adversely affected the crackdown on encroachments. Key officers in the expert committee, including its head N Bhaskar who was appointed as the commissioner of Mangaluru Urban Development Authority (MUDA), are transferred.
According to sources in the district administration, the deputy commissioner will now have to apprise the reinstated officers about the issue and further the work undertaken by the earlier
“Officers in public sectors are changing frequently post assembly elections. There are chances that a fresh committee may have to be constituted once all the officials are back. We are currently not in a position to fix a time frame on the final report, M L Vyshali, additional district deputy commissioner, said.
However, an interim report submitted by the committee on June 5 pointed out that encroachments were found in both major stormwater drainages that join Nethravati and Phalguni rivers.
DK DC Senthil, however, said he was committed to take the issue to its logical conclusion. “Due to haphazard acquisition of land in some key areas by bodies such as the National Highways Authority of India, we are facing great difficulty in finding out the width of the old canals and nalas. People, who seem guilty of encroachment, claim that the land through which these drains pass through is patta and hence private property. Until I have adequate records, I will not be in a position to deploy forces. We have engaged National Institute of Technology Karnataka to compare satellite imageries. They have sought some records which we are in the process of handing over,” he said.
Senthil said at least 60% of the confirmed encroachments had been removed and asserted that all stormwater drains in the district will be cleared soon.