PM’s Office Responds to RTI Activist’s Letter, But Will Things ‘Light up’?

PM’s Office Responds to RTI Activist’s Letter, But Will Things ‘Light up’?

Mangaluru: One of the positive things that are heard about the rule of NDA Edition 2 is that every letter that is written or e-mail sent to the prime minister’s office (PMO) gets a response, or an acknowledgement at least, within a few days.

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Sullia in the southeastern corner of the Dakshina Kannada district became a taluk headquarters fifty years ago. A 110kV sub-station for consistent power supply to the taluk had been approved sixteen years ago. Political oneupmanship and buck-passing in a competitive spirit by mainstream political parties have stalled the project all thus far.

Thanks to all of them, the sub-station is still a distant dream. Consumers have to spend days and nights without power supply. Adding to their woes is the extreme heat this summer. If the people are enraged, it is quite but natural.

D M Sharique, a protagonist of public causes, an Aam Aadmi Party functionary and an RTI activist based in Mogarpane in Sullia, would not stop at just agitating and writing letters to MESCOM.

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With a single-minded determination, he shot off a complaint to the prime minister’s office on March 21, 2016. He dealt in detail, with documentary evidence, as to how the matter had been hanging fire for sixteen years.

Not that the state government alone was at fault. The owners of the land over which the high-tension is proposed to pass are adamant on giving their nod to it. With no alternative in sight, over 40,000 consumers have been facing power crunch.

Over 9,000 agriculturists are in despair with their pumpsets lying idle without uninterrupted power supply. Voltage fluctuations and erratic power-cuts have made the lives of the students miserable at the time of annual examinations. On the other hand, hospitals have not been able to provide patients with efficient care and attention in the absence of power, esp., in emergencies like surgery.

Sharique’s letter to the PM has elicited a reply last week. The PMO has asked the chief secretary of the government of Karnataka to take suitable steps to alleviate the grievances at the earliest.

Will this ‘light up’ things for the taluk, known for its vast expanse of agriculture, tourist attractions, and temples, besides dozens of temples of education? Sharique’s letter may not have worked wonders, but certainly it will have served as a catalyst to force the lethargic bureaucracy to spring into action.

If the people that matter take a close look at Sharique’s track record as an indomitable fighter in pursuit of public causes and socially beneficent projects, they would certainly sit up, take note and get into action at once.

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He has fought for several causes in the past and ensured that a logical conclusion was reached. His best-remembered mission was over an inordinate delay in paying the compensation amounts for the land acquired in and around Sullia for the widening of the Mani-Mysuru state highway 88.

He took the case to the Lokayukta in Bengaluru and complained against the divisional engineer of the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) for holding back the funds. After arguing the case single-handedly, a record sum of Rs 5.49 crore was released to the owners of land who ceded their land all along the highway.

Besides, he has also been fighting for many other causes of public good. His focus on the indoor stadium and lack of quality in the work on Paimbechal road have borne results. He says that the Aam Aadmi Party’s local unit has been fully supporting his campaigns.

Fall-out of power crisis:

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