‘I will Retire from Politics if Vedavyas Proves his Allegations’ – J R Lobo
Mangaluru: “At a recently held press conference, MLA Vedavyas Kamath has alleged that district minister UT Khader, MCC Mayor Bhaskar K and myself have not done any work to solve the water shortage crisis in Mangaluru. Firstly, I want to advise Vedavyas Kamath that whenever he is making any allegations, he must be fully aware of the facts of the matter and back up his allegations with evidence. He should not give incorrect facts to the common public. Today, I want to pose a challenge to Vedavyas Kamath. We installed new 80 MLD (Million Liters per Day) pipelines from Thumbay Dam to Mangaluru under the KUDSEMP Yojana. We also installed new water pumps and made WTP provisions for water storage. If Vedavyas Kamath can prove that any of these components are below quality, I will retire from politics”, said former MLA J R Lobo in a press meet held at the DCC Office, Mallikatta here, on May 1.
Addressing the mediapersons Lobo said, “When the KUDSEMP Yojana was being discussed, the BJP party was in power both at the state and at the local corporation level. Did they not have any sense of responsibility at that time? In 2008, I was the Commissioner of the Mangaluru City Corporation. At that time, there was a council meeting with the entire district MPs, MLAs, and City Corporators. In that meeting, 120 crore rupees was sanctioned for water supply purposes and an additional 41 crores to rehabilitate the underground water table within the city. However, everyone unanimously decided that the budget for rehabilitating the underground water table must be increased to 145 crore rupees. That is the reason why Mangaluru is facing problems with its water delivery system. But that also led to the creation of several borewells and overhead tanks.”
Lobo further said, “Vedvyas Kamath has been an MLA for over a year. What are his efforts to fix the problem of water shortage in Mangaluru? Apart from organizing press conferences and visiting a few places for photo ops, what are his concrete contributions? However, if you ask me what my contributions are, I can clearly list them out. Firstly, I got the KUDSEMP Yojana sanctioned and thereby provided Mangaluru with 80 MLD of water supply. Secondly, we rebuilt the previously 4-meter Thumbay Dam and raised the water storage level to 7 meters. The BJP claims that former CM Yeddyurappa had sanctioned that project. However, the Thumbay Dam project was sanctioned on February 3, 2007, when HD Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister of Karnataka. I also got ADB-2 Yojana sanctioned to Mangaluru with the help of Vinay Kumar Sorake.”
When asked about the reason why Mangaluru city is facing water shortages, despite having up to 6 meters of water level stored in the Thumbay Dam, J R Lobo said, “ The reason Mangaluru is experiencing water shortage is that the water that is flowing from the Thumbay Dam is leaking. 20 percent of water leakage is en-route from Thumbay Dam to Mangaluru City. Another 30 percent of water leakage takes place within the city itself. The city has old PVC pipes which make it easier for water leakage to take place.”
MCC Mayor Bhaskar K, Congress Spokesperson A C Vinayaraj, and other MCC corporators were also present.