These villagers can have an MP, but can't vote for ZP


As the rest of Karnataka goes to elect members to Zilla and Taluk Panchayats in the last week of December, the people of Bhimarayanagudi, Hulkal (K), Kenchanakavi and Shakhapur are just bystanders, with the four villages remaining marooned islands in the ocean of vibrant grassroots democracy of the Panchayat Raj Institutions.

Ever since formation of the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) for Upper Krishna Project, and Bhimarayanagudi, five km from Shahapur taluk centre, became its head quarters in 1981, a separate Bhimarayanagudi Notified Area Committee (NAC) was formed in October 1984 under section 364 (b) of Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964.

The notified area committee is set up for an area which does not yet fulfil all the conditions necessary for the constitution of a municipality but which the State Government otherwise considers important.

Though the NACs are formed in industrial townships Bhimarayanagudi was and is neither an industrial township nor an urban area to have an NAC.

The aberration has remained a bane for the people of the four villages. Being part of NAC, residents of these villages automatically lose their voting rights for the panchayat elections.

Consequently, they also lose the right to contest for the three tier panchayat raj institutions. And above all what haunts these four villages is the lack of development in them.

All the developmental needs of these villages will have to be looked after by the NAC for which the Shahapur tahsildar is the administrator and the Yadgir deputy commissioner is the chairman.

As per the 2001 census, the population of the four villages is 4,275 and the voters as on November 10, 2010 are 4,263. Yadgir Deputy Commissioner K J Jagadish said that the NAC will only spend money released by the Government for development of the four villages and their maintenance will have to be looked after by the CADA.

Not sure

GESCOM Managing Director Munish Moudgil who also holds the additional charge of Administrator of the UKP CADA said that he was not sure of any head of account existing in the CADA for spending money on the development of the four villages.

In the past the villagers have petitioned to the Gulbarga DC for the abolition of NAC and make them part of the panchayat raj system as there was not much development in their villages.

“There is no proper development in our villages. We are neither in rural areas nor in the urban areas. It is high time NAC is abolished and we are integrated into the panchayat raj administration,” insists Sharanagouda of Hulkal village.

Though two Cabinet meetings have been held in Gulbarga after the BJP government came to power, the predicament of the four villages has failed to catch its attention.

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