Kodagu expects special relief package in budget

Natural calamity-hit Kodagu has been awaiting a special package towards relief measures and rehabilitation. Also, hopes are alive on the announcement of new taluks.

Expectations are rife on the state budget to be presented by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on February 8.

Natural calamity-hit Kodagu has been awaiting a special package towards relief measures and rehabilitation. Also, hopes are alive on the announcement of new taluks.

JD(S) leaders in the district who are confident of a positive response from the chief minister said that the chief minister is concerned about Kodagu and is likely to fulfill major demands.

Hundreds of families were devastated by the flash floods and landslides in the last August. The people now complain over the delay in the construction of 840 houses meant for the victims.

Only a few agriculturists have been compensated for their loss of crops, under the National Disaster Relief Fund. The affected farmers have therefore been expecting a better crop compensation package.

ZP awaits grants

A request has been made to release funds to the Zilla Panchayat under a special package, as there are insufficient grants with the Zilla Panchayat to repair the severed roads.

Construction of reclining walls is being carried out with the available funds. Vehicular movement is hit on the roads in rural areas. Zilla Panchayat authorities have written to the government, requesting a special package for the reconstruction of roads. ZP members have been waiting in the wings for the grants.

District Congress Committee president Shivu Madappa said that he is optimistic about getting special grants for Zilla Panchayat roads.

A Zilla Panchayat member said that there is a need for a minimum of Rs 100 crore.

A special package was granted to Kodagu for three years, during the tenure of BJP government in the state. No special package was released to the district later, he said.

Peoples' aspirations

Various demands have been placed before the government to declare Kushalnagar and Ponnampet as taluk headquarters and protests are being held in this regard from the last two years, as both the towns have been developing at a rapid pace. A memorandum was submitted to the chief minister during his visit to the district recently.

Another concerning issue is the pollution of River Cauvery at source. Laboratory reports have stated that the river water is not fit for drinking during summer. A demand has been placed to establish a separate authority for the preservation of Cauvery.

Apart from these, the budding sportspersons in the district are in need of a state-of-the-art stadium, even though Kodagu is famous for hockey. Madikeri and Somwarpet have not been facilitated with synthetic tracks.

The natural calamity has left a negative impact on the tourism of the district. As tourism minister Sa Ra Mahesh himself is in-charge of the district, expectations are rife on the sanction of programmes which could revive tourism.

Meanwhile, coffee growers have urged implementation of permanent measures to prevent the wild elephant menace.

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