By P.T. Bopanna
Even as Kodagu deputy commissioner P.I. Sreevidya has proceeded on two months leave under suspicious circumstances, Karnataka chief secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar (in picture) owes an explanation as to how he can routinely transfer officials involved in the rehabilitation of thousands of victims of landslides that devastated Coorg last August.
When Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy laid the foundation stone for the construction of 840 houses in Kodagu on December 7, Housing Minister U T Khader and officials said 55 houses will be built in one month.
It was known that this fellow Khader was talking through his hat. So far, not a house has been completed more than five months after the disaster.
There is so much politics that is going on in the district, that DC Sreevidya went on leave for two months amid speculation that there was something more than the routine reason of some medical problem involving a family member.
Normally, personnel of the IAS are not disturbed for two years in a posting.
Prashant Kumar Mishra, IAS, who was looking after the rehabilitation soon after the tragedy struck, was transferred.
The state government brought in K. Lakshmi Priya as CEO, zilla panchayat, a greenhorn so to say, who is now given charge of the DC’s post after Sreevidya proceeded on leave.
Making the situation worse, the government transferred out special additional DC Jagadish, who was in charge of the rehabilitation.
It is time the Karnataka chief secretary woke up to the situation and set things right. DC Sreevidya should be recalled from long leave. Since she has been helming the affairs ever since the landslides, she should be asked to take charge immediately. When lives of thousands of people are involved, the government cannot allow things to drift.
All houses should be constructed before the onset of monsoon in June. Though there is a high power committee headed by the chief minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, it is there only on paper as the chief minister will be preoccupied with the Lok Sabha elections. Ideally, an officer of the rank of additional chief commissioner should be posted in the district to oversee the rehabilitation.