'Jinxed' Chamarajanagara remains backward even after 25 years of formation

‘Jinxed’ Chamarajanagara remains backward even after 25 years of formation

‘Jinxed’ Chamarajanagara remains backward even after 25 years of formation


Over three decades, Cms, with few exceptions, have refused to visit the district as it is believed they would lose power

Chamarajanagara: Even after formation of 25 years the border district Chamarajanagara is yet to lose its backwardness tag. With the exertion of pressure by various pro-people organisations and elected representatives the then state government headed by then chief minister J H Patel on August 15 , 1997 carved the district by separating it from Mysuru district. This is one among seven districts announced by state government, which was inaugurated by then Chief Minister J H Patel himself at a function in Male Mahadeshwara hills. The then Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also attended the function.

Speaking to this reporter on Thursday progressive writer Lakshmi Narasimha said that politicians, especially those who hold the post of Chief Minister, are hesitating to come to the district headquarters because of blind belief that they lose power if they visit Chamarajanagar. This attitude hinders overall development of the district.

In 1992, the then Chief Minister Virendra Patil lost power in a political development after he came to inaugurate the Cauvery drinking water supply programme. This incident still haunts the chief ministers. Then Chief Minister J H Patel did not come to the district headquarters even for inauguration of the new district! After SM Krishna came to power, he did not visit district headquarters despite participating in many programmes in the district.

The then Chief Minister Dharam Singh also did not visit the district. After Virendra Patil came and went in 1992, no chief minister had come to Chamarajanagara city for 16 years. In 2007, HD Kumaraswamy came and broke this myth. Kumaraswamy visited thrice in a period of six months.

Then chief ministers Yeddyurappa and Sadananda Gowda, hesitated to come to Chamarajanagar. After that, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited Chamarajanagar for more than 12 times in a span of five years, initiated various development projects and broke the myth. After the Congress term ended, this superstition continued.

HD Kumaraswamy, who was the Chief Minister in the coalition government did not come to the district. Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa also did not visit. Although the current Chief Minister Basavaraja Bommai visited Yadabetta to inaugurate the medical college hospital in October last year, he did not visit Chamarajanagar. However district in-charge minister V Somanna said that the Chief Minister will be brought to the silver jubilee celebration of the district. Speaking to this reporter, former MLA Vatal Nagaraj, who was an MLA when the district was formed, told that he has been associated with Chamarajanagar for past 40 years. Ever since he was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1989, he has been pushing for a separate district at the government level. He said J.H. Patel, who was very close to me, promised to create separate district despite it having two taluks. He said that the district had been declared accordingly.

'The successive governments for more than two decades have failed to promote industries, develop industrial area, generate jobs, promote and market locally produced goods like coconut, turmeric, vegetables, or give a fillip to granite mining. Students still travel to Mysuru

for higher education. Government still treats Chamarajanagar as a jinxed backward town. Even though the district has a good forest cover, the government has failed to promote ecotourism. The celebration should find solutions to the challenges the district is facing today," said Chamarajanagar Small Scale Industries Association President A Jayasimha.

Even now the district has no full fledged stadium. Dr Ambedkar district stadium constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crores is lacking basic infrastructure and still incomplete. Sports persons in district have been urging since years for a stadium.

The State government has set up a 1520-acre industrial park in this border district to boost industrial activities and employment, no investor of worth the name came here. In 2014, the government bought the land at Rs 20 lakh for each acre at Badanaguppe and Kellamballi villages and the then chief minister Siddaramaiah had even organised a road show in Coimbatore to woo industrialists from Tamil Nadu to invest in the district.

But the reason for industrialists shying away from setting shop in the area is unavailability of sufficient power and water. Though the government later provided sufficient water from Kabini river, industrialists did not show much interest in investing here. Only 30-40 per cent of the total 1,520 acres is being used by small scale industries. Industrialists says that though government provided water from Kabini, it is not enough to meet the needs of industrial units as the authorities have laid insufficient pipelines.

The district industrialists association submitted a memorandum to the state industries minister Murugesh Nirani to solve the problem but to no avail. There is good potential to set up biotech and food processing industries in the area and the authorities should convert State highway up to 12 km from Santhemaralli to Mysuru cross connecting NH 766 to NH 209. It should also extend subsidies, waiver of GST, other taxes for five years to attract industrialists. If the entire plots of industrial park was utilised, the district can erase the name of backward district successfully but the concerned people are yet to act.

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