Do not ignore regional aspirations, HC tells govt

Do not ignore regional aspirations, HC tells govt

The High Court, on Monday, directed the State government not to ignore the regional aspirations of people and ensure equitable distribution of projects and schemes across the State.

Hearing a PIL by advocate Shankara S Bhat seeking direction to set up medical colleges in Uttara Kannada district, acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao observed that the politicians in power get benefits to constituencies they represent and other places get ignored. This should not happen, the court said.

A Division Bench headed by Justice Rao further said coastal areas (like Uttara Kannada) have natural wealth which has been sacrificed for the growth of economy. However, when it comes to giving benefits, such places are being ignored.

Karwar Port, which could have been a good point to transport iron ore, has not been developed till date, the court said. Justice Rao also said the Uttara Kannada district is more close to Goa as we have demarcated them from North Karanataka.

The petitioner contended that the State government, during a Cabinet meeting in Gulbarga, had decided to set up seven medical colleges for the academic year of 2013-14 in the State. However, not even a single college has been alloted for Uttara Kannada district. “We need at least two medical colleges for the district as there are no medical college at all. Since, there are ecological concerns, even big infrastructure projects have not come up in the district,” he said.

The State government has announced that new government medical colleges would be set up in Tumkur, Kodagu, Koppal, Chitradurga, Chikkaballapur and Chamarajanagar districts.

Counsel representing the State government objected to the petitioner’s submission and said the argument was not maintainable. “Seeking such directions from the court is not valid. The State government will set up medical colleges in Uttara Kannada when it feels there is requirement,” he said.

Hearing the arguments, the Bench said the government decision should not be one sided and State should concentrate on regional balance. The court also directed the State government to file objections and adjourned the case for further hearing.