Mangaluru: Former Mayor Shashidhar Hegde held a press meet at the District Congress Office here, on June 17.
Addressing the mediapersons, Shashidhar Hegde said that since many days, the media has been highlighting the activities of MCC and the performance of former Commissioner Hephsiba Rani, who has been transferred to Vijayapura as CEO of ZP. “We have seen many news about Commissioner Hephsiba Rani. From day one as Commissioner, she has created confusion in the Mangalore City Corporation. On the very first day when she took up the responsibility, the President along with the council members went to inspect and study the SC/ST colony problems. When we went there, there were many problems. It was related to the Mangalore City Corporation and the President invited Hephsiba to come inside the house. But she refused to come and said, ‘I will not come inside, I have to study the case and without studying the case, I will not take up the issue’. The President is equal to a cabinet member but responding to the President in such a manner is not expected from a responsible officer.”
“The purpose of the MCC is to solve the problems of the people. There are 60 Corporators who bring these problems to the notice of the concerned officials. All the problems and other issues including development work are discussed in meetings and the reports along with action plan is sent to the Commissioner. When the former Mayor Marla handed over a request letter to call for a meeting in January regarding the bylaws and the KUDCEMP project with signature of 20 council members, she did not call for any meeting. When we start any development work, we need to call for a meeting to discuss about the project.”
“After Jacintha become the Mayor, she called for a meeting to discuss about the Premium FIR fund, KUDCEMP phase 2 project, Market development project and the Bus stand project. In this regard, the Mayor sent a letter to the Commissioner to attend the meeting along with the concerned officers to discuss the above projects and to prepare a (DPR) Detailed Planning Report.”
He further said that the MCC has already collected Rs 85 crore through the Premium FIR fund which has to be utilized efficiently. “When the Mayor sent a letter on June 4 to the Commissioner to attend the meeting which was scheduled to be held on June 5, the Commissioner responded on June 5 saying that already the points have been discussed in the general meeting which was held on May 28 and May 30, and refused to attend the meeting as she had other work to do. On June 6, the Mayor again requested the Commissioner to attend the meeting along with the officers. The Commissioner attended the meeting on June 6. MLAs, MLC, Councillors and the opposition members were present for the meeting. During the meeting the Commissioner said that the MLAs do not have the right to review the meeting. She said that ‘I am an IAS officer. When we take up the charge, we attend meetings only with the district minister in-charge’ and walked out of the meeting.”
He also said that Commissioners come and go, but the council members are answerable to the people. “If a wheel gets punctured, the vehicle will not move further. Likewise for the MCC to function smoothly, cooperation and coordination between the Mayor and the Commissioner is important.” Regarding the work of the Town Hall, Shashidhar Hegde said that when a meeting was held at the Circuit house by the District minister in charge Ramanath Rai, Commissioner Korlapati said that she will finish the work within three months, but until now the work has not been completed and the Town Hall is in total mess. “This is a total failure from the side of the Commissioner.”
“The Mayor and commissioner used to visit the MCC sub office located in Suratkal every Wednesday. But after Hephsiba became the Commissioner, she never visited the Suratkal office.”
“In many wards, there are a number of problems. When three councillors, Rathikala, Dayananda Shetty and Jayanti, went inside her cabin to meet the Commissioner to discuss the problems in their respective wards, the Commissioner took action on the attender for allowing them to enter her cabin. She was not even allowing the Joint Director to issue the building completion certificates without her permission. In the engineering department, she has stopped 22 projects. In 5 months of time, there has been no development work.”
“We did not force the Chief Minister to transfer the Commissioner, but requested the CM to change the working style of the Commissioner. She even had the chairs that were kept for the public to sit, removed. Whatever inspection she has done, there is no record of it.”
“People should know why Commissioner Hephsiba was transferred. When we become an IAS officer, our attitude should be liked by the people. When you are in power, you should utilize it in a proper way,” he said.
“She may have little experience, but she could have done a good job with the help of the MLAs, Councillors and other officers. Being a Commissioner, she has totally failed in her job,” he said.
Former Mayor Mahabala Marla, Deepak Poojary, Harinath, Keshav, Prakash Salian, Ashok D K, Lancelot Pinto, Mithun Rai, Santhosh Shetty, Kavitha, Appi and others were present.
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