Udupi: The members of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a dharna near the Service Bus Stand here on Saturday, criticising the government for not enacting bye-laws allowing construction of houses in gram panchayats across the State.
Addressing the protesters, Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLC, said that gram panchayat offices had stopped issuing building licences to construct or renovate houses in rural areas for the last four months, following a direction by the High Court in relation to a case at Narikombu village in Dakshina Kannada.
The High Court had directed the government to formulate a bye-law for the purpose. But inactivity of the government had resulted in construction and renovation of all houses in 5,629 gram panchayats in the State coming to a grinding halt. Over two-and-a-half lakh applications for construction of houses were pending in the gram panchayats.
Last month, the government decide to elicit the opinion of gram panchayats on the bye-laws but the circular was sent in English. Only 15 per cent of the gram panchayats had given their opinions.
The gram panchayat elections were expected to be announced in about 10-15 days. Once they were announced, no licences could be issued, Mr. Poojary said.
The gram panchayats had also stopped issuing “pahani” records under Forms 9 and 11 of Karnataka Panchayat Raj Rules (Taxes and Fees) for sale and purchase of land in the rural areas of Udupi district. This had affected process of land conversion in the district. “People can neither buy nor sell their lands easily,” Mr. Poojary said.
Shobha Karandlaje, MP, Uday Kumar Shetty, T.V. Hegde, Raghupati Bhat, Sheela Shetty, Shyamala Kundar, Sunita Naik, Ganesh Kumar, Ravi Amin, BJP leaders, were present.