Although the chief officer of the Quepem municipal council had declined to provide approval (no objection certificates) to provide water and and electricity connections to illegal houses built prior to 2005 under the Public Health Act, 1985, he had to relent after the local MLA and councillors pressured him not to do so during a special meeting of the council recently.
After Pandarinath Naik, QMC chief officer refused to issue the NOCs, MLA Chandrakant alias Babu Kavlekar intervened in the matter and called a special meeting to discuss the long-pending files.
"The local MLA requested the chief officer to clear the files at the meeting and as pressure on him from the MLA and councillors mounted, he was compelled to do so," a source said.
The meeting was attended by QMC chairperson Dayesh Naik, health officer of Quepem primary health centre, Dr Mamata Kakodkar and engineers from the electricity, water supply and PWD departments. Six out of 10 councillors were present during the meeting.
During the meeting, the Quepem MLA stated that the majority of the councilors had complained to him that the chief officer had declined to sign the files. But all outgoing chief officers had given the NOC after considering the genuineness of the cases. But the chief officer, while replying to the allegation, said that it is the duty of the health officials to give NOC under the health act.
Health officer Dr Kakodkar, while referring to the official memorandum issued by the public health department on January 25, 2005, said that the chief officer of the municipal councils and the commissioners, corporation of the city of Panaji, shall exercise their powers under the health act within their respective jurisdictions. The health officer shall exercise their powers under the said act within their respective areas outside the jurisdiction of municipal councils or municipal corporation.
The 2005 official memorandum sign by J S Monteiro, then joint secretary of health also states that the requirement of production of no objection certificate from municipal council or panchayat for obtaining water connection or electricity connection or sewage connection, shall be waived, as the purpose of granting such connections is only the maintenance and improvement of public health. [TOI]