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Apr 23, 2019

Need Answers from the DC of Mangalore? – Post your query HERE

Community service to the people of Mangalore has been the prerogative of this portal ever since its inception. In this regard, is pleased to announce a column called 'Ask the DC'. Through this column, the citizens of Mangalore can have direct internet access to the DC’s office and can ask any questions that pertain to the administration of their city. The DC, will personally go through all their queries and address them through this portal.

With this exercise The DC hopes to get a direct feedback from the public. The DC believes that a mutual trust among the people can be achieved only through a ‘collective effort.’ Therefore, we invite our readers to 'Ask the DC' any queries they wish to. All queries addressed to the DC have to be relevant to the administration of Dakshina Kannada and accompanied by the senders e-mail address. Please note that no personal queries will be entertained.

-- Team Mangalorean

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By Violet Pereira, Mangalore [ Published Date: November 29, 2009 ]

Born on May 15th 1973, in Udumalpet, Coimbatore, Mr. Velusamy Ponnuraj is an alumni of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore and the Indian Agricultural Institute in Delhi.  A distinguished IAS officer, he assumed charge as the 120th Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada on January 6th 2009.  Prior to this posting, he has been the Deputy Commissioner of Ramnagar District and the Udupi District.  

Mr V Ponnuraj spoke with Team Mangalorean to  briefly outline his aim for reaching out to the people through this portal. Here are the excerpts from the brief interview:

What is the main aim you have in mind with regard to communicating with the people of Mangalore on this portal?

Mangalore citizens are tech saavy apart from being highly educated. This forum is unique when compared to other media as any person can respond back easily. Hence it is highly interactive as well as it reaches all the Mangaloreans who are outside the state as well as outside the country yet very keen on following  the developments taking place in Mangalore.
Do you think direct feedback from the readers here will help you in addressing certain issues?

Yes, in many ways like:

a. Many problems and issues which normally do not come to our notice can be easily referred by citizens.
b. Priorities for our working can be decided based on the feedback.
c. Simple solutions to many problems can be found.
d. When in doubt about certain possible alternate solutions for a problem, the public feedback can help us decide one way or the other.
e. It can also help us to withstand political pressure on crucial issues.

What about the people who have no access to the Internet? In what way will you give them an opportunity to air their grievances?

Before I move to this issue, I need to say how we are going to help people get all the information they want about what is being done in our office either about the requests or petitions of public or the files and so on. We have already made our office a paperless office though we still continue to receive physical papers from outside our office and send them to offices and citizens who do not have computerised facilities.  But our entire office processing is done on a digital system with LAN networked computers.  As I have already done it in UDUPI, the entire live files and stored files will be made available over internet so that people can keep tracking what is happening to their file. This system is unique in the sense, here people can see what is being written in their files almost on a real time basis. Hence, we make it possible for citizens to respond back before the file is rejected or closed if they have replies to the reasons we quote for rejection. This system will come into place in a few weeks time, thereafter, there is no need for anybody to apply under Right to Information Act as all the files will be online and they can view them online.

For those who are not tech savvy, we have lots of plans, ranging from making file status being made available over IVRS system and also we are going to start phone in programmes for public grievance and video in from Taluk office. These will take few more months to materialise.

Do you intend to seek the support of any institutions and/or organizatinos in Mangalore in the course of your work?

I need to make one thing very clear, that though people are very aware and intelligent when they are witness to any illegal thing, they feel it is better not to object to it as long as it does not affect them individually. Also, when it is a nuisance or loss to them, they feel it that once it is reported to officers, their duty is over. If there are any difficulties in finding a solution, instead of strengthening the hand of genuine officers, many times accusations are levelled.  I am making this point because not many officers get the same kind of public support I get.  To be frank there are many officers who are dedicated and genuine.  Hence, I would request people or organisations to support the officers in their endeavour so that they can serve the public better.

The organisations should also participate and take initiatives on positive issues like the citizen's role in waste disposal, segregation of waste at household level, in eradicating malaria as individual households are major breeding grounds for larva, in facilitating communal harmony, improving driving behaviour and so on.
The socio-religious situation in Mangalore is taking a beating every now and then, which has sent wrong signals to the world. What would be your message to the people of Mangalore on this issue?

The world is beautiful, let us enjoy it together.  Life is too precious to waste time on such silly matters, that too an entire society going out of control over the mad acts of  a few miscreants.  I wonder why the saner majority does not realise that it only takes a few rabid type actions by miscreants to cripple the normal life of an entire society and to make everyone view each other with suspicious eyes though every other day they live happily along and make a living together.

I would only say it is herd mentality being displayed on such occasions by such an educated, otherwise cultured and thinking public of the district. It is a shame for all of us.  However, I am noticing a few developments taking place among the leaders of major communities in a silent way, but very much positive to bring back the lost glory. People will be able to feel those changes if those developments continue in the same direction. I dont want to make those efforts public right now as it is too early and it is better it comes from the horse's mouth. I am hopeful that things will definitely happen positively on this front.

The MUDA has released its new master plan, please tell our readers how will the new master plan help in the future growth of Mangalore?

It is going to put a break on the unplanned growth of the city if people dont violate it for individual financial gains by taking the name of the poor. It is going to be a big boon for the development of infrastructure in Mangalore. However, in the short term it might look like it puts a bit of a burden on the general public in terms of high setback requirements, more parking requirements and not allowing any construction on too smaller plots.

Your message to readers:

Dear Readers, please express your opinion strongly on important issues but always keep the common good in mind. It is equally important to bring them to practice by organising yourselves into forums and organisations so that there is less dependence on government as less dependence on government is an indication of a developed society. Try to govern yourselves and involve yourselves in the running of your city.  Let us have less police officers and less of government officials as government always comes with an overhead cost. 

My thanks and best regards to all the people of Dakshina Kannada!

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sameera , India :
Few months before petrol price was raised so all the bus holders made strikes and raised the price money in udupi from karkala to bailur of rs12 to 18 and now by day day petrol price is going low they dont take an action insted they are still increasing the price money of buses in udupi please co-operate with the students and decrease the bus price
R R D'SOUZA, India :
ROHAN, India :


Charath, Karnad, Bahrain :
Straight Roads Never Make Good Drivers,
Smooth Sea Never Make Good Sailors,
Clear Sky Never Make Good Pilots,

Dear Sir,
Subject- Protection for Our Towns, Homes & Backbone Roads of 1950,

Topic is about the history of NH 17. & Plan to Divert Via Barren Land.

During our childhood 1960, we used travel around with our parents, Udupi to Mulki to Mangalore, We used daily Walk to our School/ College on our Town Roads. Very Safely
After that during 1962 to 1965, Govt. built Highway Rolled beside, across & over/ buried the our Town Roads, and Transformed into Ghost Highway Which became Totally Unsafe for our School Children, All Youth at KREC, KPT, KMC,

Due to this Highway, our old Udupi, Mulki, Mangalore Link Town Roads Merged with Highway, Old Local Roads to Mangalore Vanished/ burried ,
Daily HighVolume of Trucks, LPG Tankers, Maruthi, Tata, Mahindra, Bajaj Auto Cos use highway more Frquently, they must Plan to Divert BOT Basis, Unsafe Daily Move to Thousands of our School Childrens, Elderly Citizens & Future Generations, High Volume of heavy Trucks Moving to Kerala, causing Accidents at the Town Junctions of KinniMulki, Malpe, Kaupu, Padubidri, Mulki, Pavanje, Surathkal, Kadri KPT, Kankanady, Pumpwell,
If you take a look on same highway built ZigZag at some places at Kerala from KottaKal Ponnani- Thirurangdi, near Ernakulam, Some Places near Kumta & Sirsi,

So Why Cant We Plan for Better to Divert Highway Only 60 K.m. over Barren Land from Kallianpur Via Bailoor, Karkala, Ujre Gurupur, Sajipa Talpady

On those days Making a highway without any Bulldozer/Machine, they used Hundreds of Manual Labours to Break the hills, by hardship.even though completed in 2 Years.
Along with many river Bridges.
Even then Hon. Nehru, planned to Build highway by Acquiring Land, For 4 Lanes,
without much Destruction to Homes, Schools, Temples or Towns

Many Retired NRIs & senior Citizens built their New Homes on the Remained Land, at the side of the highway in 2002. We took almost spent five years to build our Homes, before 1960 we Lost almost our Land for 4 Lane Highway, Now Again we Dont Want to become Homeless or Landless any more.
We all Citizens of this Udupi to Mulki to Manglore Area appeal to All Concerned NHAI & Govt. Authority To DIVERT 4 Lane Highway can Planned from Kallianpur Via Bailoor, Karkala, Ujre Gurpur, Sajipa to Talapady almost 60 Kms. where there is enough Barren Land, hills can be leveled with help of couple of L&T Bull Dozers..or Modern heavy Machines, Similarly Konkan Railway Track had Built

IF authority adopt this plan there will no More Heavy Traffic Jams at Coastal Towns Udupi Padubidri, Surthkal KREC, Kadri KPT or Kankanady
We ALL Residents & Citizens Living besides of the Highway Towns Make Appeal to DiVERT the highway Widening Plan on Barren Land This will Avoid daily Accidents, Town Pollution & save our School Childrens Life.
Harsha D'Souza, India :
Dear Sir, The MCC is leaving the under ground drainage water from the manholes at Kadri to the storm water drain. The stinking water passed in the drains and causes very bad smell and contaminates the ground water. The drain runs from kadri kaibattal, kadri temple, kadri kambla , kodialbail to kudroli. This is happening for the last six months. Local people have complained but nothing has been done so far. Can you please fix an ultimatum to the MCC and see that the pollution is stopped immidately. Please tell us with whom we have to follow it up. Your intervention will definately set the matter right .
N. SUDHAKAR, India :
Dear Sir, when shiradi ghat road will be concreted
Thomas D'Mello, Kundapura, India :

Lot of Skyscrapers are coming up in Mangalore, Udupi, and Manipal. The promoters give a very glamorous AD about them.

Also they give their e-mail address for bookings, queries.

One question which I had asked promoters thru e-mail but none bothered to reply is:

Whether the building has met the fire and safety requirements and taken clearance from the department:
Following are the areas need to be addressed:

1 Are there any fire escape routes provided?
2 Whether there is sufficient approach road for fire tenders to enter?
3 If there is a fire say on 10th floor, how are the people above the 10th floor will be vacated? Has the respective Municipal Corporations have any equipment available for evacuation and also to fight fire? I suppose the helipads may not be allowed on private buildings in the future

I request you to look into this safety factor and suggest making it mandatory for the advertisers to give details about the fire and safety aspect.

My e-mail:
Felix Castelino, India :
Could you please make it it very serious at the interest of senior citizens and edlerly oldage people to make necessary arrangements in Mangalore while they cross the roads? At present there is no proper crossing for people and it is very risky and dangereous to cross roads, Could you please make this as the priority in Mangalore? Thanks, I need a assurance from you, dear DC.
Fr. Faustine L. Lobo, India :
Respected sir,

I hear from several people that in and around Mangalore that some men are moving from house to house collecting funds in the name of the DC, Mangalore. Initially the staff of DCs office had gone for collection for the flood relief, I hear. But now some anti social elements are moving around Mangalore collecting funds for some Cancer patient and claiming that they are coming from DCs office and the DC has sanctioned this collection.
I request your good self to make an announcement to this effect through the media so that innocent people may not become prey to their evil designs -

Fr. Faustine L. Lobo.
Shubha Rodrigues, Mangalore., India :
Sir, Please observe the divider on the busy Balmatta-Jyothi Road which is uneven. Many people and children cross the one way road, climb over the divider and cross the other road. I happened to see a man carrying two bags fall over the divider to the other side, just because there is a upset there, which makes the rushing pedestrian trip. Luckily at that moment there were no vehicles, or there would have been an accident. Can you please order the concerned Dept. to see that the top of all the dividers, specially, where there are busstops on either sides are levelled?
Manohar Ullal, Jedah, Saudi Arabia:
Respected DC Mr. Ponnuraj,

Hats off to you Sir. Keep up the good work and get the blessings from the pepole of Mangloare & surrounding areas.

All your effort in the development of the city of your juridiction willl be highly appreciated.

Please try to root out the corruption & influence from so called big shots & politicians.

Good luck & God bless you Sir...

Manohar Ullal
B H Giridhar Shetty, India :
First of all I congratulate you for taking decision on noble cause. I hope other DCs of remaining districts of the state will follow the suit.
We hope your good office will overcome the problems created out of few unscrupulous/over ambitious politicians interfearence in the Administration. Queries/Questions pertaing to Udupi district are also answered by you or seperate avenue is therefor it?
Anyway best of luck Keep it up.
Roshan Pais, India :
It is my personal conviction that People like you can be worthy of emulating as role models for budding youngsters aspiring to be IAS officers of the future.

I agree with you fully that - people participation and interaction with DC & Officials is the Key for reforms and if successful will be worthy of emulating elsewhere in India.

I have similar words of praise for Bharatlal Meena ( past DC) too.

I have two issues - which I think may sound frivolous as well as controversial. First one is instituting a separate department for growing trees and the second pertains to rain water harvesting via initiation of cost effective ponds( water body) per village system.

Coming to the first issue of tree cover to cities and towns:

1. There is no long term plan in mind when people plant trees.
2. Existing trees can become caught in a tug of war between the desire to retain them and the desire for development.
3. We do not have sustainable measures to plant trees - which are grown in a nursery for few years to be planted in an avenue that has recently been upgraded and which will be likely in place for another 50 or more years. Similar initiatives exist in other developed countries.
4. When people want tree or green cover - they want it so that overall health costs and diseases due to living in an high polluted environment are lessened. So in a way for the city to attract more investment, more jobs etc adequate tree cover is a must.

5. Sustainable tree or green cover therefore is a long term investment and the cost should be borne by the citizens as green tax to be solely used for this particular department.

Second issue is ground water:

1. Coastal areas like DK need to maintain a steady ground water level otherwise over the years sea water will creep in to result in ground water contamination. Cities like Chennai already experience this.

2. Easiest way to maintain ground water is to Maximilien the rain water seepage into the ground water - to serve as annual replenishment.

3. Diversion of rivers etc are mega projects which are politically motivated thus may not be feasible and cost loads of tax payeres money. In addition they lead to political plundering of that money.

4. Simple cost effective way is to create ponds in every village and thus retain rain water . This will serve as to replenish the water table in that area. Places like Konaje will surely benifit from this as they run out of water in summer.

5. Fresh water fish cultivation in these ponds will give alternative means of income for the villagers and this unlike the brackish water shrimp farming does not pollute the environment.

I am sure - more ideas will flow in this regard - ultimately will serve to initiate pragmatic measures to better the standards of living in our region, when succesfull will be worthy of emulation elsewhere.

All the best in your efforts to reach out people.
D.P.Kumar, India :
Roydon D' Souza, Mangalore
It is not my personal domain/id that is full. I was and is sending and receiving mails without interruption. Only DKDC's server appears to have not taken care to clean msgs or increase capacity.
That is what I want DC to take care of.
salman, India :
Dear Sir,

First of all i appreciate you for your genius consideration for Mangalore. I really liked your answer for the questions pertaining to Mangalore and your responsibility. It sounds very genuine and professional. Also its good to see that you have taken initiative to computerise your department work which i believe is the wise choice you made.

Regarding the development, it is very evident in most of the cases that poor pay the maximum price for any development activities where they get the price for their land or property below the average of market price just because they do not have an influence in the government or authorities. The benefits of development do not reach them. Therefore, please let us know what are your considerations on this?

Development is defiantly what everyone demands but its very important to have a city master plan that improves the long-term social and ecological health of our city. Which includes efficient land use, less pollution and waste, environmental protection, a sustainable economy and good social atmosphere to attract the investors.

You have mentioned that few developments taking place among the leaders of communities to improve the broken or spoiled image of city. Good news and hope to get the fruitful outcome.

Wish a good luck Sir for your future endeavour.
Michael Lobo, India :
Dear Mr. Ponnuraj,

Let me at the outset congratulate you on your assumption as the DC of DK. I am happy to note here that it is quite long since we got a able and performing DC after Mr. Bharat Lal Meena. Mr. Meena had done lot of good work which helped people of DK. He was courageous, determined and had a vision for DK. Powerful position can be used for doing good and also doing bad. I am sure you indeed fill this space of goodness with your professional approach to various daunting tasks that lay ahead. No fear or favour - must be the approach to administration.

We love our Mangalore deeply and proud to be part of its evolution. I understand that you are empowered to do certain jobs for the welfare of the society and you are doing really well. Recent turbulences have dented the good image of DK. I hope creating good image of DK certainly is on your priority list.

There are instances where the clerical/official staff do not pay attention to innocent/uneducated/poor citizens. They become abusive and wouldn't do their duty for which they are getting paid. Corruption is another monster that still operates behind the screen. All the government staff under you need a occasional training - how to be cultured and well mannered when dealing with citizens. Hope some counseling and serious training sessions would make them empathetic and skillful. Dynamism and energy should be maintained at any cost.

DK needs a green sink urgently. I can hardly see any trees in and around the city. Please be proactive when it comes to protecting and nurturing our environment. Growing lot of trees is the need of hour. I see shrinkage of pedestrian path in the name of infrastructure development. This will have huge impact for various reasons. Educating the masses about mass transport and turning to cycles and other green technologies is another challenge. People must be made aware of abandoning their lavish way of living to a simple living. We must be conscious and responsible. Health and Food is another major problem, and I hope institutions meant for doing service in these sectors are going in the right direction. Your agriculture background should place emphasis on farmers and cultivation. They must be encouraged and protected because they supply food to India.

You have a bigger challenge than ever to addresses a galaxy of issues which deserve urgent attention and action from people holding power. It would have been still better if people's representatives also participate in UNDERSTANDING the issues first and then taking right action.

We need people who are professionals and love their Job. We are with you Sir in your endeavor to bring peace and prosperity to our beloved land.
Nagesh Kamath, India :
My neighbour is doing additions to his house on mammool pathway obstructing my userway. MUDA sketch clearly shows the existing pathway. Will you please order a survey of the entire area of T.S. No:727 and 718 in Boloor Village-A and demarcate/ fix boundaries in the interest of justice?
Desmond Vas, India :
I am a resident of Udupi and very frequently travel to Manglore on my car. When I drive on the roads, the heavy vehicles mainly the express buses from opposite side overtake other vehicles switching on the headlights/ dippers lights, even though there is little scope on the right side of them and we have slow and go off the asphalted road and get down to the mud path to avoid head on collusion, which may harm the pedestrian or two wheelers. Is there rule that they can do this? Can the district administration do something like giving a press statement and make aware the rules to the bus drivers. Secondly in the night after 9 PM till morning 8 AM vehicles travel on wrong side of one-way or the Circle and if questioned they tell it is allowed in the Traffic rules. Can administration take some steps regarding this?
Thomas Felix Castelino, India :
Respected D.C. of Mangalore(D.K.:Dist)
Like many Senior Citizens, who do not have their own vehicles, are experencing difficulties, in Mangalore specially, to cross the roads, from one side to another. There is a possibility of accidents and deaths many times, since vehicle owners do not stop their vehicles while the old people cross the roads. I humbly appeal to you, wheather it is possible for you to make arrangements for the seniors to cross the roads without any tension and fear. For this a rule has to be imposed to stop their vehicles while crossing the roads, or a policeman has to be kept on duty while there is a need of crossin the roads by the public, Please think and act accordingly seriously so that we may get rid of our fear and tension on the roads. Thank you sir.
bharath shetty , USA :
Dear DC,
I heard lot good about you. Appreciate your work.
I have one question. How would you ensure law abiding citizens protected from "political and influential people's interference".?
I stay in USA. I am trying to get electricty connection to my home at my native place last 6 months. But i am not able to get new connection just because of political/influential pressure on section officers (assuming they are not colluded). What will be the process for the people like us? To whom to contact?
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