Shettar's path: 'Slow pace of works' may be speedbreaker

Shettar's path: 'Slow pace of works' may be speedbreaker

Jagadish Shettar

The Hubballi-Dharwad Road, which divides the Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency into two parts, has been a source of serious inconvenience for residents and commuters for the past five years due to the slow pace of implementation of the much-hyped Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project.

Damaged roads, scarcity of water, lack of cleanliness and dust menace are among the major civic issues.

This constituency (erstwhile Hubballi Rural), where Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar is seeking re-election for the sixth consecutive term, is a mix of developed and under-developed areas.

The constituency has given two chief ministers - Shettar and S R Bommai.

Areas like Vijayanagar and Vishweshwar Nagar have 24X7 water supply and this scheme was extended to a few more areas recently. Areas like Hosur and Vidyanagar are getting water once in eight or 10 days. In the last decade, roads were dug for various projects such as underground drainage network, water pipelines and other utility lines, and many roads are still full of potholes. On the other hand, development of some roads has begun.

“Dust menace is severe here. We get water once in eight days and it is tougher in summer. BRTS work has made people stand under scorching sun and dust, while waiting for buses. Only assurances are given and nothing has been done,” says P S Dharaneppanavar, a resident of Hosur.

Parks are also not maintained properly. “We have lost faith in people’s representatives and I have seen people talking about bringing about a change this time,” he added. But, there are also voters who feel that improvement has taken place in the constituency over the years and inconvenience is natural during implementation of projects.

Mohan Katti, a resident of Devangpet Road at Vijayanagar, gives 60% marks for the development here in the last 25 years. “Improvement has taken place, but it has to keep pace with the growth in population. Focus should be on better waste management and development of stormwater drains,” he says.

Candidates speak

‘Non-performance’ is the weapon being used by candidates who are in the poll fray against Shettar.

Congress candidate Mahesh Nalwad says the constituency lacks good infrastructure due to visionless politics in the last 25 years.

JD(S) candidate Rajanna Koravi, AAP candidate Santosh Nargund and others are also pushing for a change this time.

Claiming credit for projects like BRTS, 24X7 water supply scheme, CRF roads, Smart City and the UGD project, Shettar says those who blame him do not know how Hubballi was 25 years ago.

“I am not facing any allegation, I have not supported criminals and people can easily approach me. As my opponents have no issue, they are talking about non-performance,” he said.

“As BJP candidates are elected from here, the Congress government purposely delayed implementation of various projects and did not release funds. Most projects will be completed in the next eight months and Hubballi will become a clean and green city,” he added.

The constituency has 2,33,884 voters, including 1,16,629 women. Candidates of BJP, Congress and JD(S) belong to the prominent Lingayat community, which has around 75,000 voters. Out of 19 wards, BJP has its corporators in 12 wards.