Mangaluru, June 8, 2016: Approving the budget outlay for 2016-17, members of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat expressed displeasure over the bureaucracy not involving them in its preparation.
At the first general body meeting of the DK panchayat on June 7, Tuesday, Chief Planning Officer and in-charge CAO Chief Accounts Officer Vishwanath P. Modajji presented details of the budget outlay of Rs. 232.53 crore for 2016-17. CAO Modajji said that the budget was prepared on the basis of a link document that had details of the budget for Dakshina Kannada and seven other zilla pachayats in the Mysuru Division.
CAO Modajji said that the grants had been fixed for each one of the departments and they could not deviate from approved norms. He said that Rs. 98 crore of the Rs. 111.85 crore under the plan sector was going towards salary.
Senior BJP member M. Thungappa Bangera said that while members were bound to approve the budget outlay, it would make sense to allow zilla panchayats to make use of allocated funds in the manner they want. Congress member M.S. Mohammad said that it was sad that the zilla panchayat was being relegated to just approve what had been placed before it by the State government.
Congress member Mamata Gatty said that the process of preparation of the budget started in September-October. The budget allocation was based on the previous year’s estimates and the actual expenditure incurred on the projects in the last fiscal year. Member Gatty said that none of the members were involved in the process of budget preparation.
Member Mohammad said that there was no outlay for zilla panchayat members to take up drinking water projects in their constituencies. Shahul Hameed, a Congress member, said that it was sad that the zilla panchayat president, who was of the rank of Minister of State, did not have powers to sanction a rupee grant for development works. The zilla panchayat president was forced to act within the ambit of the budget prepared by the officials on direction of the State government, he explained.
Chief Executive Officer P.I. Sreevidya said that the members could suggest an action plan and include their proposals that were within the scope of budgetary allocation. The action plan would be implemented soon after its approval by the State government. She said that the State government did not give approval to the action plan last year. Following a detailed discussion, members resolved to utilise 50 per cent of the Rs. 32 crore grant for drinking water projects, for taking up new works. The remaining 50 per cent should be used for spill-over works amounting to Rs. 77 crore. Zilla panchayat president Meenakshi P. approved the budget.
ZP meet resolves that ’Rainwater harvesting’ is compulsory
The Mangalur Zilla Panchayat resolved to make RWH, rainwater harvesting mandatory in houses built on 2,000 square feet and above on June 7, Tuesday. It was also decided to issue licences to houses and commercial complexes only after they implement rainwater harvesting system and construct toilets.
Zilla Panchayat Deputy Secretary N R Umesh said an effort is being made to make Dakshina Kannada district free from open defecation. Though the district has won several awards for sanitation, a total of 1,589 households do not have toilets in the district. In this regard, construction of toilets should be made mandatory for houses and commercial complexes, he urged the local body.
Supporting his views, Member Asha Thimmappa Gowda said the recharge of borewells should also be mandatory. Apart from this, the Zilla Panchayat should issue guidelines to all the Gram Panchayats on managing the plastic waste. The Gram Panchayats should make arrangements to collect plastic waste from the houses, she added.
Reacting to it, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive P I Sreevidya said more than 300 recharge structures were built last year. The work on water recharge structures will be taken up under MGNREGS, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Member Shahul Hameed said that a building for Saralikatte high school in Belthangady taluk was sanctioned under RMSA, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan in 2009-10. Even after six years, the building construction work has remained incomplete. At present, classess are conducted in a congested room. The ZP CEO said 65 high school buildings were sanctioned under RMSA in Dakshina Kannada district. There has been delay in completing the work.
The Zilla Panchayat members also gave nod for the purchase of anti-rabies vaccine at a cost of Rs 1.58 lakh by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. The members gave their nod for the budget outlay of Rs 232.53 crore for 2016-17. However, they resolved that 50 per cent of the Rs 13 crore under planned grant should be earmarked for the action plan related to drinking water project and the remaining can be used for spill over works.
The members demanded to know why no funds were earmarked for the drinking water projects in the budget outlay. Though chief planning officer and ZP CEO said that the funds for drinking water projects are released under state head.
She said that the government has clearly instructed us to complete the pending works before taking up any new works. However, the members were adamant on allocation of funds for the drinking water projects and said that the budget should have been prepared after consulting the Zilla Panchayat members.
A bylaw for electing chairpersons and members to the standing committees of the Zilla Panchayat under Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act was adopted on the occasion. Presenting the bylaw, ZP CPO Vishwanath Mudajji said the election to the Standing Committee chairpersons and members can be held only after the House gives approval to the bylaw.
The members discussed at length about the revenue division of Zilla Panchayat and its jurisdiction. The term of the standing committee will be 20 months. The Zilla Panchayat nominated Sucharitha Shetty and Harish Kanjipili to Central Library Committee. ZP President Meenakshi Shanthigodu and Vice President Kasturi Panja were present among other officials.