Govt accused of delaying slum development programmes

DH News Service

Member of Legislative Council Dr Siddalingaiah (Ind) today accused the State government of delaying the implementation of slum-development programmes, and having failed to prevent atrocities on Dalits in the State.

Participating in a discussion on motion of thanks to the Governor's address to the joint session of the State Legislature, Dr Siddalingaiah stated that there are 4,500 slum settlements across the State with 36 lakh slum-dwellers. Another 2,513 shanty towns are yet to be recognised as slums. According to national slum development programmes, basic amenities like drinking water, housing, roads, underground drainage network, sanitation, health centres and Anganwadi centres will have to be provided to the slum-dwellers. "But there is not even a single slum in the State, which has all these facilities," he alleged.

He pointed out that the State government has returned a Central grant of Rs 46 crore, allocated to the State for improvement of slum development programmes for the year 2000. "Instead of utilising the Central grant, it has been returned and now the State government is borrowing loans worth Rs 260 crore from Hudco for the slum development. I do not see any logic behind such a move. Even the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has earmarked just Rs 1 crore for slum development in the City, which is home to at least 25 lakh slum-dwellers," he said.

Registering his protest against relocation of slums in Bangalore, Dr Siddalingaiah alleged that vested interests like land mafia and several government officials are behind "fire accidents" in slums. "When ever slum-dwellers protest against their relocation, it is followed by fire accidents. More than 1,000 huts were destroyed in fire mishaps in Koramangala, Ashoknagar, Ejipura and Ambedkarnagar," he said and demanded that the government should prevent such incidents in future.

ATROCITIES: Dr Siddalingaiah appealed to the State government to prevent atrocities on Dalits and Scheduled Castes. Of the 5,287 cases registered in connection with oppression of Dalits in the State in the last few years, the culprits were convicted only in five cases. "The rest escaped punishment. Anganwadi workers are harassed regularly, a gram panchayat vice-president near Mangalore had to resign recently and there are such day-to-day incidents of oppression on Dalits. The government should take measures to curb them," he said.

Mr Sashil Namoshi, K B Shanappa, P Ramaiah (Ind) and "Mukhyamantri" Chandru also took part in the discussion.

Referred by:Balram Sampla
Published on: March 27, 2001
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