Saturday, August 27, 2016

Location of district office creates controversy

Soure: The Hindu ..


Updated: August 26, 2016 02:41 IST |
The government seems to have got into an avoidable controversy with its plans to build the district office complex away from the city. The plan to build the complex on a hill top in Mamankeri village has some organisations saying the location is too far away and difficult to access.

Bidar is among the last districts to get a complex where all important offices are located.

Earlier plan
A piece of land near the Gurudwara was identified in 2014 and sent to the State government for approval. This formed the basis of the plan developed by the Karnataka Housing Board for the one lakh square ft building. The special cabinet of the State government held in Kalaburagi approved the site and sanctioned Rs. 48 crore for a building that would house both the DC and the ZP offices. However, work did not begin as the district administration decided to change the location.

Low accessibility

The Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Bar Association have opposed it saying it will be difficult for people to go to the DC office on a daily basis. “Petitioners, advocates and the common people will have to get down Navadgeri hill and climb up Mamankeri hill to reach the DC office. It will be a nuisance, said B.G. Shetkar, BCCI president. These organisations have threatened agitations if the government finalises the location as Mamankeri.

“Moving the DC office out of the city is a ploy by officers to avoid protests in front of their office,” says former MLA Zulfikar Hashmi. “A distant office will mean lesser people will visit it, turning it into a den for agents, like the RTO office,” Mr. Hashmi said.

The Office of the Regional Commissioner has raised objections against the project. A letter from Amlan Aditya Biswas, RC, has pointed out that the land has been classified as forest land and can not be used for non-forest purposes. He has also pointed out that part of the land was Waqf land, belonging to a dargah. He has also sought reasons for rejecting the earlier site near Chikpet.

Weak soil
“The soil on the mountain is not as strong in other areas,” said an engineer who was engaged in preparing the layout plan. “The mountain is a landfill mound, which has soil deposited during the construction or repair of the fort in the Behmani or Nizam period. We therefore need a pile foundation of 30 ft that will cost around Rs. 6-8 crore to set up. Secondly, the water table in Mamankeri is not shallow. The office complex will need a lot of water and will have to depend on piped supply from the city. This is not feasible,” he said.

Eshwar Khandre, district in-charge Minister, is said to be backing the project as he wants it to be completed during the Congress government’s tenure. “We have not come to a final decision on the location so far,” he told The Hindu.

Green building
Anurag Tewari, deputy commissioner, defends the choice. “It will be a green building, generating its own solar energy and harvesting rain water,” he said. He said issues of the land being forest or Waqf land have been resolved. We have found documents that say it is not forest land. We will plan the building in such a way that the Waqf land is avoided, he said. Moving the office complex away from the city will lead to development of the city in that direction. More over, it will be the most beautiful district office complex in the State, he said.

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