Opposition Busy in Mudslinging; MLA, MP not Responsible for Recent Flood in City – Lobo
Mangaluru: Former MLA J R Lobo held a press meet at the DCC office, Mallikatta here on June 1.
Speaking to mediapersons, Lobo said, “Today I have two important issues to be clarified before the media. The opposition is blaming me for the recent rain and floods in the city and secondly, my doubts on the EVMs for the results in the recent assembly elections. As I am aware, in 1974 there were heavy rains and DK was flooded. Later in 2003 also there was a similar situation. But in the history of Dakshina Kannada there has never been 24 centimeters of rain in a day until recently, and this is why the city was flooded.”
Continuing, Lobo said that the opposition have started criticizing him, saying that the flood is “the fruit of the former MLA’s five years of development work”. “I would like to respond to those who criticize me that I am not the executor of the projects in the city. I have brought the funds for the development of the city and the technical persons have planned and carried out the job. It is a record that there has been 24 centimeters of rainfall in the city and it is normal to panic. But some opposition leaders, due to lack of knowledge, are criticizing me. During the heavy rains places like Kottara, Pumpwell, Padil underpass and Bajal underpass were totally flooded. Am I responsible for it? Or is it right to blame the MP for the floods? I will not criticise anyone for it. There was delay in the construction work of the flyovers. The concerned contractors should have completed the work on time. Those who were given the contract, the IDF (Infrastructure Development Foundation) and the concerned MCC engineers should be held responsible”, he added.
Addressing the mediapersons, J R Lobo said, “During the construction of the Bajal underpass, the contractor overlooked the possibility of rainwater accumulation and there was no provision for the rain water to flow. Just because MP Nalin inaugurated the Bajal underpass, we cannot blame him since he did not execute the job nor is he a technical person. Why are those criticizing me reacting differently for the state and the central government funded projects? If there is heavy rain, why are they holding the MLA responsible? The opposition leaders who criticize me do not have even the minimum knowledge of government projects. In Mangaluru, there is a consultancy called IDF. I will write a letter to the MCC that IDF had taken the contract for planning the projects and the road construction work. If they have done the mistake, they should be held responsible. IDF had designed the city projects. If they have not done the work properly, action should be taken against them. I will write to the MCC to check the road construction, footpaths and the drainage system projects done by them. An independent technical body can study the development projects undertaken by the IDF and caused problems during the heavy rains. The technical team and the concerned engineers of the MCC are also responsible. The Mayor, MLAs or MPs are not responsible but those who plan and execute the projects should be held responsible.”
Lobo further said, “Rumours are being spread that from the past five years, no development work has been done. We want to know how much commission has been given to the IDF for development works by the MCC. If the MCC officials are involved in this, I will urge the concerned authorities to take action against them. Those who criticize should at least have the minimum knowledge of the government projects. The district administration has done a good job during the recent floods and I would like to congratulate them. I also advise the opposition leaders to stop mudslinging.”
Showing displeasure on the recent election results Lobo said, “I am not happy with the recent election results which were not expected by me. I have approached advocates in Bengaluru and contacted Ravindra Kamath and Associates. I will approach the court because I am not happy with the EVM system. Advocate Ravindra Kamath will file a petition to the court demanding the Ballot paper. Election means the voter should have trust. If the EVMs create doubt we should not use the EVM. Instead of EVMs we should use the ballot papers for the elections. It is the only way to gain the trust of the voters. The recent election results were unexpected so I am approaching the court for justice. I will request the court to count the VVPAT again in regard to my constituency. I have submitted a letter in this case and received the acknowledgement”.
When asked why objection was not raised before the counting of votes Lobo said, “How can we raise objections before the counting of votes? In the entire district, we were not happy with the results. We cannot request to count the VVPAT since we need the court orders. So I am approaching the court to recount the VVPAT. “
Mayor Bhaskar, Deputy Mayor Mohammed, MUDA Chairman Suresh Ballal, Former Mayor Sashidhar Hegde, Praveenchandra Alva, Mariamma Thomas and others were also present.