NH a mirage for Kodagu district

Railway connectivity too is still a dream

NH a mirage for Kodagu district

Even the weather, environment, community, culture and tradition are also different from other districts. The problems of the region also differ. After the delimitation, the Assembly constituencies have been decreased to two in Kodagu. As a result, Kodagu can not politically play a vital role in pressurising the government.

Kodagu has been contributing towards the economic progress of the country in the form of foreign exchange through coffee. Moreover, in terms of tourism, a large number of tourists are thronging the district. Unfortunately, the district is not blessed with a National Highway.

On the one hand, lack of political will is the main reason behind the non existence of NH in Kodagu. On the other hand, geographical area of the land itself is a hindrance. About 74 per cent of the land in Kodagu is covered with forest. Along with this, the region gets rain for six months in a year. For laying National Highway, forest department will always come in the way. On the one hand, reserve forest and on the other hand, there is wildlife division (eg Makutta inter-state highway). Moreover, the laying of the road and its maintenance is difficult in a region which receives rainfall for six months.

Govt not bothered

At the same time, to provide connectivity to the NH passing through Mangalore, Hassan and Mysore is also not possible as not many roads pass through the district. To provide connectivity to NH from Kodagu, 60 to 70 kms road will have to be developed. As a result, even the government has not bothered about the National Highway.

Majority of the district headquarters in the State have been provided with inter-state or inter-district highway connectivity. However, when it comes to Kodagu, the demand has not been fulfilled so far. If NH passing through Mysore or Mangalore is connected, then the travellers who pass through Bangalore-Mysore-Mangalore will be benefited.

When Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee made the proposal of railway connectivity between Mysore-Kushalnagar-Madikeri, there has been severe opposition to the proposal from politicians and environmentalists. Many feel that environment and forest will be destroyed if Kodagu is provided with railway connectivity.

In spite of the technical problem, in the interest of the development of the region, NH is essential to the district. The condition of eight State Highways which pass through Kodagu are in deplorable condition. All the highways are a black mark for the promotion of tourism in the district. The fund released for the development of road is not enough for the district. Special package was announced after BJP government came to power in the State.

In spite of the release of funds for the development of road, the condition of the road remains the same. “What is the meaning of package if Rs 25 crore is utilised for 125 development works,” feels Opposition. As a whole, there is a need for a national highway to Kodagu district which is devoid of railway connectivity.

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