Budget 2017: Kodagu to get airstrip, blood separation unit, prison

The budget by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday presented a few goodies to Kodagu district. Though the budget has not fulfilled major expectations of the people, it has not disappointed the people as well.

Though the budget announced formation of 49 new taluks, the people of the region have been disappointed that Kushalnagar in Somwarpet taluk and Ponnampet in Virajpet taluk haven’t made it to the list.

As Kodagu experiences heavy rainfall, the roads get damaged often. A total of Rs 50 crore has been earmarked as a special package for the development and widening of roads. The budget has announced development of airstrip at Madikeri. As a large number of VIPs arrive in Kodagu district for relaxation and to tour, they have to come to Kodagu via the road from Mysuru airport. The development of airstrip will boost tourism in the region. A 3D mini planetarium at a cost of Rs 5.75 crore has been announced for Madikeri. The budget has also promised to set up a prison at Virajpet.

In addition, a blood seperation unit has been sanctioned to district hospital in Madikeri, which was one of the long-pending demands of the region. Without a separation unit in Kodagu, the patients would travel to Mangaluru and Mysuru hospitals for treatment. The setting up of the unit will help the patients suffering from anaemia, said DHO Dr O R Srirangappa told DH.

In addition, the budget has set aside fund for the modernisation of canals of Harangi Reservoir in Kushalnagar. A sum of Rs 200 crore has been set aside for the development of Jenukuruba, Koraga, Soliga, Kadukuruba, Erava community members. The budget has announced framing of special rules for appointment of tribal communities living in forests and on the periphery of forest, to the posts of guard, watcher and other ‘D’ group posts, which is a welcome move, felt tribal leaders.

The coffee planters who had availed loans from co-operative societies were expecting the chief minister to announce loan waiver. However, failure to announce loan waiver has disappointed the growers. No special package was announced to check human-elephant conflict in the region. The proposal on coffee museum and package for conserving river Cauvery has not found their place in the budget.

What they say
District JD(S) unit president M Sanketh Poovaiah termed the budget disappointing. There was no proposal on loan waiver. At a time when farmers have been ending their lives due to debts, the government should have announced loan waiver. No measures have been announced to arrest elephant menace in the district, he said.

DCC president T P Ramesh said the budget has announced welfare programmes for farmers, women and deprived class. Special emphasis has been given for the welfare of women. In addition, the honorarium for Asha workers have been hiked.

Stating that the budget is anti-farmer, district BJP unit president B B Bharathish said the state government should have announced loan waiver. “Though we were demanding an airport, the government has announced only a airstrip to Madikeri, which will benefit only the rich,” he said.

MLC Sunil Subramani said no special package was announced for the district. The burning issues in Kodagu did not find any place in the budget. He said the budget is disappointing.

Avinash, a software engineer in Madikeri, said there is a recognition at the national-level for coffee from Coorg. However, the demand for a coffee museum in Madikeri has not been materialised so far.

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