KDCC president gets grand welcome

Biddatanda T. Pradeep, newly elected president of the Kodagu District Congress Committee (KDCC), said on Wednesday that he would strive to restore the previous glory of the party in Kodagu by rejuvenating it in the villages.

He was speaking to presspersons informally after being given a rousing welcome by the Congress workers on his arrival from Bangalore at the General K.S. Thimayya Circle here. Refurbishing the image of the Congress with the involvement of youth was his priority and he would do it with the advice of the senior leaders of the party, he said.

The BJP did not have leaders in its ranks. This was the reason why it was “snatching” Congress leaders to meet their aspirations in Kodagu, Mr. Pradeep said. He was referring to the defection of H.M. Nanda Kumar of the Congress to the BJP to secure presidency of the Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) here a few days ago. The BJP had resorted to such tactics in the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat as well, he said.

He was accorded a grand reception by the Congress workers when he arrived at Koppa gate, near Kushalnagar and again at Sunticoppa in the morning.

– The Hindu


‘Submit master plan for Madikeri’

Director of Town Planning S B Honnur has directed Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA) Commissioner to submit the master plan for Madikeri local planning area to the government by February end and get temporary approval from the government. 

 In fact, the last master plan was okayed by the government 13 years ago. In this background, there is a need to take temporary approval from the government for the master plan. The master plan should have been finalsed in the MUDA meeting before submitting it to the government. Urban Development Department Secretary has fixed time bound for the preparation of master plan for the city.

Accordingly, the master plan needs to be approved by the MUDA before submitting it to the government for temporary approval by February end. If the authorities fail to submit the master plan to the government, then the Commissioner will be held responsible and action will be initiated against him by the government, said an order issued by the Director of Town and Country Planning dated January 20.

The MUDA has prepared a master plan for an estimated 50,000 population in the local planning area by 2021. Unfortunately, the Authority has not conevened meetings to get approval for the master plan. The last meeting of the Authority was held on May 7, 2010. Meanwhile, MP and MLAs are not showing keen interest in attending the meeting. The government must have nominated four members to the Authority. Hence, the Master plan could not get approval from the authority.

The master plan needs to be discussed in the MUDA meeting. Later, it should be submitted to the government for approval. The MUDA has prepared master plan last August itself, but could not get approved in the MUDA meeting.

Amidst all the lacunae, the MUDA could not undertake any new housing projects. Moreover, several files are pending before the MUDA with regard to land conversion. Inspite of disposing all the files, new residential projects can not be undertaken, said sources in MUDA.

At the same time, the elected representatives are urging the MUDA not to give scope for land conversion for resorts and home stay to come up in the city. Madikeri is a small town. There is no land available for the creation of residential extension. Even after levelling the hillocks to create sites, the public find it difficult to purchase. In this background, the activities of MUDA has come to a standstill. In fact, even the Minister for Urban Development Suresh Kumar had said that the government is thinking of closing down MUDA in Madikeri few months ago.


Policy for curbing wildlife menace soon

A comprehensive policy on curbing the wildlife menace, protecting the lives of farmers living in the forest fringes in the State and the issue of payment of compensation for crop loss, will be out in a day or two, Forest and Kodagu in-charge Minister C.H. Vijayashankar said here on Wednesday.

He told presspersons that the proposal submitted by the Forest Department had been cleared by the Department of Finance and was awaiting Chief Minister’s approval, he said.

He had received a proposal seeking Rs. 131 crore from the Forest Department in Kodagu district to take steps to contain the menace of wild elephants, he said.

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-The Hindu

Environmentalists slam planters’ body

Environmentalists on Tuesday expressed displeasure against the comments of certain members of the Kodagu (Coffee) Growers’ Federation which recently said that greens should not operate in Kodagu unless they were cleared by the Government.

Col. C.P. Muthanna (retired) of the Kodagu Model Forest Trust (KMFT) told presspersons here that environmentalists need not obtain permission from any one to protect Kodagu’s environment. The members of the federation, who had spoken harshly about environmentalists, did not exist when the people ranged against the decision to build a dam across the Barapole river nor did raise their voice against the drawing of the 400 kV double-circuit power line from Kaiga to Kerala via Kodagu, he said.

The non-governmental oragnisations would welcome probe into the organisations that received foreign funds as demanded by members of the federation. In fact, he had written to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah (Mr. Bopaiah was then Deputy Speaker) last year to order a probe into the foreign funds issue covering the dubious NGOs.

But nothing happened afterwards, Col. Muthanna said. Col. Appaiah said that there were plans to run a National Highway through Kodagu in which case a majority of the towns in southern parts of Kodagu would vanish.

Col. Muthanna said the demands of the members of the federation who had demanded railway line to Kodagu asked them whether they had any knowledge of the loss of trees, houses, and plantations in the district.

On the Unesco move to accord World Heritage Site tag covering the Western Ghats, he said it was proposed by the Government and not NGOs

-The Hindu

Minister announces Rs. 10 crore for repair of Kodagu roads

Madikeri: It is the duty of every citizen to remember the sacrifices of the leaders who fought for Independence and helped create a secular, sovereign and socialist republic, Minister for Forest C.H. Vijayashankar said here on Wednesday.

He was delivering the Republic Day address after unfurling the tricolour at the Fort here.

India had achieved glory in many fields such as science, technology, medical, educational, art, literature, sports and so on, Mr. Vijayashankar said.

Ushering in social and economic changes in the lives of people with stress on equality had remained the hallmark of the Constitution, he said.

The State, Kodagu in particular, had witnessed tremendous changes ever since the BJP came to power in Karnataka.

He announced Rs. 10 crore for the development of roads, Rs. 5 crore for the second phase development of Bhagamandala and Talacauvery temples, besides promising Rs. 1 crore for the construction of General K.S. Thimayya Memorial in the city.

He said extending the hill allowance to all government employees in the district and establishment of the Post Graduate Centre of the Mangalore University at Chikaluvara were some of the recent decisioins aimed at the all-round development of Kodagu.

Funds for the construction of mini Vidhana Soudha in Virajpet, Kodava Heritage Centre in Madikeri in 2011, development of State highways and major district roads this year, grants to the Revenue Department for beneficiaries under various schemes, funds for the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges under the Panchayat Raj Engineering wing and the special package announced by the Chief Minister were aimed at the development of the district.

Achievers in various fields such as education, scouts and guides and sports were felicitated by the guests which included MLC M.C. Nanaiah, zilla panchayat president Anita, Madikeri CMC president H.M. Nanda Kumar, CMC Madikeri vice-president Vasanta, in-charge Deputy Commissioner K.M. Chandre Gowda, Superintendent of Police Manjunath Annigeri, Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat N. Krishnappa and in-charge Conservator of Forests Krishne Gowda.

Schoolchildren drawn from various parts of the district presented a colourful cultural pageant, including dances on patriotic numbers, shouting out messages to fight social evils such as threat to internal security, illiteracy, poverty, dowry and so on. Various government departments took out a procession of tableaux on the occasion.

 -The Hindu

Tilak shatters course record

The Indian elite athletes fared the best in the men’s half-marathon one-way dash from Bandra to CST with Coorg-based BC Tilak shattering the course record.

Tilak, who plans to graduate to the full marathon next year, breasted the tape in an hour, four minutes and 45 seconds and was followed by Railways’ Soji Mathew (1:05:04), his Army Sports Institute (ASI) teammate Kheta Ram (1:05:32) and Parsaram Bhol (1:05:32), all inside the old mark of 1:05:44 set by two-time winner Surender Singh in 2008.

Kodagu police team finishes third

Kodagu police team has finished third in the annual State-level police sports championships held in Bangalore a couple of days ago by garnering 40 points, according to information received here on Tuesday.

The southern zone team, which included Kodagu police, won the second place in the tug-of-war event.

The team was led by Reserve Sub-Inspector T.P. Krishnamurthy. District Armed Reserve Inspector H.S. Jayakrishna was the manager.

Superintendent of Police Manjunath Annigeri has congratulated the Kodagu police team.

 -The Hindu