Govt to scrap Madikeri urban development authority

The State government will scrap the Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA), Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar said on Monday.

Facing a scathing attack by JD(S) legislator M C Nanaiah in the Legislative Council, who slammed the government for giving indiscriminate permissions to set up resorts in and around Madikeri town, Kumar said that a planning authority would be set up in place of MUDA.

Nanaiah said the mountain ranges around Madikeri town were being slowly destroyed as more than 100 resorts had come up within a 10-km radius of the town.

“Kodagu is known for its rich natural beauty. But today, it is tragic to see the very beauty of Madikeri being stolen away by people who don’t even belong to the State. When I was the minister, I ensured that I did not allow a brick or mortar within 10 km of Madikeri. We have already ruined Bangalore. Let’s not do the same there,” said Nanaiah.

In reply, Kumar said it had been difficult to regulate development within the district, as the district was full of “influential people”. He added that he had convened a meeting of all the urban development authorities in Chitradurga on February 15, where the department would lay down certain guidelines, which would be farmer-friendly.

He also said that no new permits would be given for construction of resorts in Madikeri. Nanaiah, who wasn’t satisfied with the reply, urged the government to cancel permissions given to all resorts which have violated the norms.

Kumar finally said the government would re-examine all permissions that have been given. “I assure you that all efforts will be made to retain the beauty and natural wealth of the region,” he added.

Illegal sites
The matter of irregularities in the urban development authorities came up for discussion when Congress MLC V R Sudarshan sought to know from the government the action it had initiated in the case of Mandya Urban Development Authority, which had distributed 107 sites in violation of norms. The civic agency had illegally distributed 107 sites in Survey number 502 at Vivekanandanagar Layout in Mandya.

Kumar said the inquiry team comprising four officials headed by the director of Town and Country Planning had submitted its report on December 3, 2010, and the Mandya Deputy Commissioner had submitted his report on January 5, 2011.

Both the reports held the then MUDA commissioner, Upendra Nayak, responsible for the distribution of sites. Nayak, who is now retired, is being probed by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms.

He also said that on December 29, 2011, the DC was directed to initiate a detailed probe into the matter and identify all those officials involved in this scam. Kumar said that criminal proceedings will be initiated against those found guilty.

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