Sunday, March 22, 2015

State Government Reconstitutes Rural Water Supply Task Force Committees

The state government has reconstituted rural water supply task force committees involving more public representatives at the Assembly constituency level to tackle the drinking water crisis during summer, according to highly-placed sources in the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.

The sources said circulars have been sent to all the authorities concerned on March 7 intimating reconstitution of the committees.

The circular stated that MLAs of the Assembly constituencies would be the chairman of the committees while executive officer of the taluk panchayat would be the member secretary. The MLC concerned would be its member.

The public representative/officer invited by the chairman of the Task Force Committee, tahsildar, geologist of the Mines and Geology Department or the officer nominated by him, Assistant Executive Engineer of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department and Assistant Executive Engineer of GESCOM would be invitees to the committees.

Earlier, the only elected representative in the task force committee was the Member of Legislative Assembly and the remaining members were only officers, sources added.

The committees should hold meetings immediately and prepare action plan to combat drinking water crisis during summer. Instead of preparing new plans, the committees, in coordination with the DCs, should take steps to supply drinking water through tankers.

Kalaburagi ZP Deputy Secretary Usuf has confirmed the receipt of the circular a couple of days ago.

The state government has released Rs 85.89 crore to various ZPs to take up emergency drinking water supply works considering the depleting water table in many districts. In the official order issued on March 13, which was received by the ZPs on Monday, it has been stated that the government had released Rs 85.89 crore to 189 Assembly constituencies.

As per the allocation done to different districts, Belagavi has received highest allocation of Rs 7.65 crore.

The government has provided Rs 3.76 crore to Mysuru, Rs 3.75 crore to Kalaburagi, Rs 3.60 crore each to Vijayapura, Davangere and Ballari, Rs 3.25 crore to Hassan, Rs 3.15 crore each to Bagalkot and Mandya, Rs 3.00 crore each to Bengaluru (Urban) and Bidar, Rs 2.95 crore to Kolar, Rs 2.80 crore to Dakshina Kannada, Rs 2.70 crore each to Chitradurga and Haveri, Rs 2.50 crore to Chikkaballapura, Rs 2.25 crore to Koppal, Rs 2.00 crore to Chikkamagaluru, Rs 1.88 crore to Dharwad, Rs 1.80 crore to Chamarajanagar, Rs 1.90 crore to Bengaluru (Rural) and Rs 80 lakh to Kodagu districts, sources added.

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‘Inter-cultural dialogue forms base for secularism’

“Secularism built on the pillars of inter-cultural dialogue and syncretic worship are the biggest contribution of the Deccan to Indian culture,” Rehmat Tarikere, writer said in Bidar on Wednesday.

He was speaking at ‘The Glory that was Bidar’, an international seminar organised by the district administration.

Different sects and schools of thought have the unmissable tinge of secularism, he said. “What is great about them is that they are part of the folk culture. The good news is that they are still thriving,” he said.

He gave examples of Ashtur village near Bidar, where believers worship the tomb of Ahmed Shah Wali as the reincarnation of saint Allama Prabhu. He listed several such shrines across Karnataka where cultures fuse and religions are indistinguishable.

“We need to remind ourselves that secularism is not an alien concept for us. It is died in the wool of the country’s cultural fabric. We are not secular because someone told us to be so. It is because we are deeply empathetic human beings who are open to thought and willing to befriend people from other cultures,” Prof. Tarikere said.

He lamented that purists in Islam and Hinduism were out to destroy the multi-cultural character. Sects like Sufi and bhakti traditions remind us that our styles of living are overlapping. We are not commodities that can not be put in watertight compartments that are only Hindus or only Muslims, he said.

It is alarming to see the incidents of moral policing on a rise. Even boys and girls from different faiths are not allowed to sit and talk, in some places. Such events need to be condemned equivocally by members of all faiths, he said.

He said that dialogue between different faiths and cultures was the need of the hour. “It is our strength and we need to preserve it. If we lose the tolerance, acceptance and empathy that could make us strong enough to entertain a thought that is opposed to our ideology, then we can have little cultural progress,’’ he warned.

At an interaction, Prof. Tarikere said that Islam was not unilateral entity with a single, defined dimension. It is a multi-layered concept with different hues, he said.

Chiranjiv Singh, former special representative of UNESCO, Appagere Somashekar of central university of Karnataka , Kalaburagi, P.C. Jaffer, deputy commissioner, Kishor Joshi, assistant director of tourism and others were present.

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“Restoration of medieval-era monuments will be taken up in consultation with professional art restoring agencies,” P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner, said in Bidar on Thursday.

Agencies like the Indian Heritage Cities Network, the Deccan Heritage Foundation, the World Monument Fund, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Archaeological Survey of India will be involved in these efforts, he said. He was speaking at ‘The Glory That was Bidar’, an international seminar on Deccan heritage.

“We have initiated studies about the monuments and the heritage around it. Once we come to some level of understanding about how we can go about it, we will start the work,” he said.

He said that the district administration would work on complying with the guidelines suggested by agencies for conserving and protecting the city, along with the monuments. Ratish Nanda of the Aga Khan foundation urged the government to take up conservation work with community participation.

“There can be no conservation without addressing social and economic issues. Conservation is a way of life. It is not just fixing monuments. It includes conserving culture and heritage, without disturbing the socio-economic balance in society,” he said.

Mr. Nanda advised officials not to lose sight of the fact that efforts should be frugal and people should not squander money.

He said that conservation efforts would not succeed unless done by specifically trained artisans. “The idea is to use the same techniques of construction and art that were used by the original builders. If the conservation workers don’t stay close to these skills, the monument would never look like it was originally intended to be,” he said.

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