State budget has nothing new to offer, says MLA

Chikkamagaluru MLA C T Ravi on Thursday said the recent budget tabled by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has nothing new to offer to the district. Addressing reporters here, Ravi said though Ayush Hospital has been sanctioned for the district, funds have not been kept aside, thus raising questions on the seriousness on the part of the government in implementing the proposal.

Recently, Congress district president Dr D L Vijaykumar had said that the government will take up works in hospital and medical college, utilising Rs 2,004 crore of the funds earmarked for the health department. Referring to this, Ravi asked why no separate funds were set aside for the projects announced in the outlay.

Taking a dig at the chief minister, Ravi sought to know whether the work on filling water to Doddakere will be completed before Friday (March 31), as Siddaramaiah himself has announced that the work will be completed in the current fiscal. He urged for reconsidering the proposal, to upgrade the hospitals at Kadur and Sakharayapatna as community health centres.

Expressing fear over people losing faith in the schemes, Ravi said 410 families that applied for funeral aid have been waiting for benefit from the past two years. In all, 961 applications were received and 434 were sanctioned relief, while 117 were rejected. The government will have to set aside Rs 27 lakh to distribute relief of Rs 5,000 for each of the applicants, he added.

On education front too, there is no significant development, as the works on Aldur Polytechnic is yet to be launched. So also, the work on an engineering college, which has been handed over to Rite Organisation, he said. Highlighting state government’s debt - Rs 1.33 lakh crore in five years, which is the highest amount ever borrowed by any chief minister, Ravi said it is 60% of the total Rs 1.09 lakh crore debt raised by the chief ministers in the past till the year 2013.

In all, 20 ministers have been deputed on campaign trail for the byelections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet constituencies scheduled to be held on April 9. It is in stark contrast to the action initiated by the state government to tackle drought. It also makes it clear that first preference goes to byelections rather than managing drought crises, he criticised.

Extending support to recent decision of Zilla Panchayat members to give a deadline of 15 days for the district administration to open goshalas, Ravi said, “I will also stage a protest with Zilla Panchayat  members, if the authorities fail to heed the demand.”

To a query on the recent assault on CMC president Kavitha Shekar by an unidentified woman, Ravi  expressed his helplessness saying the party will not interfere in the personal matters of any elected representative.

Regarding notification of eco-senstitive areas under Western Ghats, Ravi said the state government has been requested to file objection before the centre.
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