BENGALURU: The decision by the Public Works Department to construct a designated house for the chief minister at an estimated cost of `25 crore has received flak from people.
Prof M S Thimmappa, former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University said, “Actually, the chief minister is a servant of the people, not the master and he should be serving the people not himself.”
“Though officials are saying it is not for the present CM and whoever comes next will stay there, this is not the time as the state is facing drought and the issue of farmers suicides. My question is, is there a need for that luxury?” he said.
Prof M R Doreswamy, former MLC and Chancellor of PES University, felt that a designated residence for the chief minister is not necessary. “Several taluks in the state have been hit by drought, farmers are committing suicide and the government is concentrating on constructing a bungalow for the CM. It is sad,” he said.
“Even if they construct the residence, whoever comes as CM will spend crores to renovate it. “The CM’s first priority must be concern towards the public,” he added.
S R Hiremath of the Samaja Parivartana Samudaya, said, “When there are already many government buildings and three designated for the chief minister, why should they waste `25 crore on constructing one more. When our resources are scarce, officials should be careful while spending.”
Former additional chief secretary V Balasubramanian, who is chairman of the Karnataka chapter of Transparency International, also felt that another residence for the CM is not necessary. “The state has seen over 20 chief ministers and a majority of them never asked for a designated house,” he said.
Meanwhile, even the general public have expressed anger over the decision. Rajesh V S, faculty at a private college, said, “It is ridiculous. The man who talks about social justice must stop this and set a trend for his successors.”
“According to my knowledge, this is just a way for officials to make money. Though it is designated for chief ministers, Siddaramaiah must not entertain this,” said Susheela, a private firm employee.
According to architects, those who make such plans and take decisions must understand conservation of the environment. Ravindra Gundurao, a Mysuru-based architect, said, “Constructing concrete buildings will not be a solution. Instead it will have an adverse impact on the environment. Definitely they will cut trees for constructing each new building and the authorities like the chief minister must look into it.”