No Asst. Commissioners for MCC Zones 3, 8 for over 16 years
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No Asst. Commissioners for MCC Zones 3, 8 for over 16 years

September 17, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Currently, two Development Officers have assumed the roles of Zonal Commissioners (Assistant Commissioners) at two Zonal Offices within the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). Typically, the Zonal Commissioners are of the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) grade but here, a lower-rung officer has been given the superior rank.

Out of the nine MCC Zonal Offices, the State Government has appointed seven KAS Officers to oversee their respective jurisdictions. However, for two of these Offices, KAS Officers have not been assigned and therefore, Development Officers are filling in as Zonal Commissioners.

Sources have informed Star of Mysore that since the inception of the Zonal Offices concept, Development Officers have been serving as Zonal Commissioners or Assistant Commissioners at the Sharadadevinagar Zone 3 Office and the Udayagiri Zone 8 Office.

In Zone 3, Development Officer Sathyamurthy is acting as the Zonal Commissioner, while in Zone 8, Development Officer Nagesh is performing the role of Zonal Commissioner.

The KAS-grade officers, who are functioning as Zonal Commissioners in other Zonal Offices include Manjunath Reddy (Zone 1), Nagaraj (Zone 2), Chandramma (Zone 4), Yoganand (Zone 5), Prathibha (Zone 6),  Nanjundaiah (Zone 7) and Shivakumar (Zone 9).

These Zonal Offices were established in 2007 when the Central JnNURM scheme was sanctioned to Mysuru and funds began to flow in. The then MCC Commissioner, P. Manivannan, established these Offices to decentralise power and fund allocation. Before the establishment of Zonal Offices, all administrative and financial matters were handled at the main MCC Office on Sayyaji Rao Road.

The Zonal Offices were created to facilitate the effective implementation of the JnNURM scheme, allowing for the monitoring of physical works at the local level. KAS-grade officers were appointed to lead these offices, referred to as Zonal Commissioners or Assistant Commissioners.

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However, despite the completion of most JnNURM projects, the Government has not appointed KAS Officers for Zones 3 and 8, leaving Development Officers to handle all matters in the absence of regular Assistant Commissioners. Surprisingly, this situation has persisted for the last 16 years without any elected representative raising the issue, which has raised suspicions.

According to M.S. Shantharam, a resident of Vijayanagar, the absence of permanent Zonal Commissioners means that Development Officers are assuming the duties of Zonal Commissioners. He argued that this is problematic, causing inconvenience to thousands of tax-payers who struggle to address their grievances without proper experienced Zonal Commissioners. He has urged the MCC Commissioner to take immediate action.

In the absence of Zonal Commissioners, there are no qualified and knowledgeable officers available to address public grievances or provide access to Government welfare schemes implemented through the MCC. These Zonal Offices handle critical matters such as property documentation (Khata), revenue approvals, birth and death certificates, payment of local taxes, trade licences, sanitation and public amenities.

With no permanent Zonal Commissioners in two Zonal Offices, Development Officers must shoulder the additional responsibilities of Zonal Commissioners. This results in inefficiency in service delivery as they have to juggle their regular roles and the responsibilities of  Zonal Commissioners.

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