FB helps relaying of road

Page receives 1,335 likes; campaign to continue

The 45-km highway bordering Mysuru and Kodagu districts was in a pathetic state for decades due to neglect. However, for the surprise of many, one of the sustained campaigns on Facebook has led to the rebuilding of the Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road.

Through news portal www.coorgtourisminfo.com, an online campaign to improve the road condition was started by registering a petition with Petition India, where members of the public can register their online support in May 2012. The petition was addressed to then Virajpet MLA and Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah.

Though Bopaiah assured in the media that the works on the road will be taken up, nothing materialised. Subsequently, Bopanna started the ‘Repair Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road’ campaign page on Facebook. With the campaign getting a positive response, IAS officer P Manivannan, who was then the Chief Project Officer at Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project, took notice of the issue.

Manivannan convinced PWD Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa on the urgent need for starting the work. Though work on the road was taken up, work came to a standstill on account of the non-release of payment to the contractors. In November 2012, portal editor Bopanna met Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj and submitted a memorandum, urging for resuming the work.

The Governor directed the government to take up the repair of the road.
Though the work commenced, it had to be deferred due to the monsoon. Subsequently, works could not be taken up due to non-availability of construction materials. Finally, works on two stretches of the road was completed late last year. The repair of the Panchvalli- Anechoukur was completed recently.

The ‘Repair Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road’ page received 1,335 ‘likes’ on Facebook. On the future of the Facebook page, Bopanna said: “Though the purpose of the page has been achieved, the Facebook page will continue its campaign against poor road conditions in Kodagu and other road-centric issues.”

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