‘Declare Malnad as special region like NE states’

‘Declare Malnad as special region like NE states’

District Kannada Sahitya Sammelana President Kalkuli Vittala Hegde, his wife Estalina, theatre person Prasanna, social activist Kadidal Shamanna being escorted to Sammelana stage, by the district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat office-bearers in Sringeri

District Kannada Sahitya Sammelana President Kalkuli Vittala Hegde said the Legislative Assembly constituencies should be delimited based on the geographic diversity of the area.

Delivering the presidential address during 16th district Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at BGS Community hall in Sringeri on Friday, he said the delimitation of the Assembly constituencies based on the population has resulted in poor representation to Malnad. The burning issues of Malnad are not raised in the Legislative Assembly. “If an MLA’s constituency is restricted to 100-km, then how can we expect development in Malnad.”

“There is a need to reconstitute district by including all the taluks of Malnad. We need the right over land and water. Malnad should be declared as a special region on the model of northeastern States and there is a need to set up special authority for the development of Malnad. The authority should be empowered to work towards comprehensive development of Malnad taluks,” he demanded.

Hegde said that though the British took away resources from forests, they had not evicted the forest dwellers. “Unfortunately, in the name of environment conservation, the forest dwellers who have been living in an eco-friendly manner are asked to come out of the forest,” he said.

“Kasturirangan and Gadgil report on Conservation of Western Ghats should be rejected for not having consulted and taken people of Malnad to confidence,” he said.

Explaining on the density of forest in the past, Hegde said, “The deforestation has had an impact on the rain pattern in Malnad. I am ready to explain with the documents. All have been dependent on Malnad for living. In the name of new rules and acts, an attempt is being made to depopulate Malnad by evicting the people.”

“Malnad was known for arecanut in the past. The disease infecting the arecanut has wiped out arecanut plantations. Before arecanut disappears from the scene, scientists should find a solution to disease affecting arecanut,” he appealed.

There is a conspiracy to ban arecanut. International Agency for Cancer Research has termed arecanut as unhealthy. To face such report of an international agency, there is a need to carry out research by Indians to prove that areacanut is not harmful.

Inaugurating the Sammelana, MLA T D Raje Gowda said political interference in literary meet should be avoided.  “Kalkuli Vittala Hegde has contributed to the literary world. He has carried out several campaigns in the district. It was not right to create a controversy over selecting him as the President.”

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