Inquiry ordered into Karnatka shoe scandal

The issue of the alleged scam in providing shoes to schoolchildren was raised again in the Belagavi Zilla panchayat meeting on Friday. Zilla panchayat president Asha Aihole instructed officials to inquire into the allegations that some officials had hiked the prices of shoes and supplied low quality goods to schoolchildren. She was speaking at a Karnataka Development Programme review meeting in the zilla panchayat.

She asked the Deputy Director of Public Instruction to look into allegations made by some members and submit a report soon. She observed that some members were making allegations against Education Department officials for over a year now and no disciplinary action was taken against anyone.

Some members suggested that the government drop the idea of procuring goods and give away cash to the families concerned to let them buy shoes for their wards. Some others complained that nearly half the schoolchildren were yet to receive textbooks even 100 days after reopening of schools. Education Department officials clarified that nearly 95 % of the students had received the books, but admitted that there was a delay due to change in curriculum. The zilla panchayat has sent a proposal for ₹ 50 crore to repair old school buildings, the officials said.

Venkatarama Reddy, Joint Director, Agriculture, said that the district suffered 38 % deficient rainfall. “Of the 418 mm average rainfall expected, we have received only 266 mm,” he said. Sowing was completed on 80 % of the targeted land. However, crops like maize, sunflower and others can be grown in irrigated areas, he said.

Vice-president Arun Katamble urged HESCOM officials to supply quality power to farmers.

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