Foundation for Appiah Gowda Monument Laid

Speaker K.G.Bopaiah laid foundation stone for freedom fighter Appaiah Gowda’s monument in Madikeri yesterday.

Addressing the gathering, Bopaiah said that the monument with a statue at a cost of rupees fifteen lakhs will come up shortly.

MLA Appachu Ranjan told that a park will also be designed in the area.

Superintendent of police Manjunath Annigeri, Deputy Commissioner Ashwathnarayana Gowda and others were present.


Stalemate over regional science centre/ MU Refuses To Allow Institute On Its College

Mangalore University and the Kodagu district administration have locked horns over the proposed regional science centre in Madikeri.

The BJP-JD(S) government had sanctioned the project for the establishment of a science centre in Madikeri. The then science and technology and Kodagu district incharge minister Ramachandragowda got an initial sanction of Rs 1 crore for the project. The amount is still unused.

Former deputy commissioner Baladevakrishna had reserved four acres of land on Field Marshal Cariappa College (FMCC) site. When the project had to be channelised Mangalore University vice-chancellor Prof Shivashankaramurthy wrote a letter to the deputy commissioner not to commence the work on the F M College premises.

Speaking to The Times of India Shivashankaramurthy said as per education policies, the university can lend its land only for university activities. The state higher education department under secretary had also sent a letter to the deputy commissioner supporting this move.

Meanwhile, present deputy commissioner Ashwathnarayan Gowda confirmed that FMCC has just 50 cents of land on record and the government has 31.12 acres, and that the proposed science centre can come up on the four acres of land reserved for the purpose.

Speaking to The Times of India, Mangalore University registrar Chinnappa Gowda said that the university will use the land only for its educational purposes. He said he had recently met the Kodagu DC and requested him to start the science centre elsewhere rather than on the college site. The University has claimed Record of Tenancy and Crop (RTC) for the 31.12 acres of land in favour of FMC College. However, the University will not clash with the revenue department on the issue, he said. The proposed science centre in the college site will be more beneficial for primary students than college students, Gowda felt.


Kodagu ZP chiefs likely to be unanimous choice

The election to the post of Zilla Panchayat President and Vice-President will be held on February 7. It is almost clear that the two posts will be elected unanimously.
The post of Zilla Panchayat President was reserved for General category and Vice-President for SC (woman). There are 29 seats in Zilla Panchayat. Of which, the BJP has won 21 seats. The Congress has won six seats and JD(S) has won 2 seats. According to sources in BJP, there are all possibilities of Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah’s supporter Shantheyanda Ravi Kushalappa being elected as the President of Zilla Panchayat. Kodandera Ganapathy of Bittangala, Bharathish of Suntikoppa, Ballaranda Mani Uthappa of Valnoor Thyagathur were the aspirants for the post of President.

In fact, MLA M P Appachu Ranjan’s supporter Bharathish is also trying his level best to become the President.

There is a fight between H M Cauvery who had won from Ammathi and Indiramma from Hebbale constituency for the post of Vice-President. In fact, Ammathi and Hebbale constituecies were the only two constitiencies reserved for the SC (woman) in the district.

Both Indiramma and H M Cauvery are highly educated. If educational qualification was the yardstick for electing vice-president, then both are eligible for the post. If the BJP is going by seniority, then there are chances of Indiramma being elected to the post, said sources. The BJP leaders are yet to take decision on candidate for Vice-President post.


Madikeri may get mini – buses soon

Mysore division Deputy Transport Commissioner C P Narayanaswamy assured that efforts will be made to introduce mini buses within Madikeri town. 

Speaking at transport adalat organised at General Thimmaiah Memorial Bhavana which houses RTO office, he said in the backdrop of growing city, there is a need for city buses for the poor labourers and school children.

He directed the KSRTC Manager to submit a proposal on the route for mini buses to the RTO at the earliest.

District Chamber of Commerce President G Chidwilas said there is a need to introduce mini bus service to Stone Hill, Golf Maidan, Abbey falls, Sampige Katte, Gaddige, Dechoor and Raja Rajeshwari Temple.

The Deputy Transport Commissioner said that no buses should ply without license in the district.

Kodagu district Private Bus Owners Association President Hosur Ramesh Joyappa said several KSRTC buses ply without license in the district.

Kodlipete Chamber of Commerce Girish said as there is no bus facility between Madikeri and Arakalagoodu, the residents are put to hardship.

The Deputy Transport Commissioner directed the KSRTC Manager to provide bus connectivity at the earliest.


Is the Bane land issue in Kodagu jinxed?

The issue of finding a permanent solution to the vexed Bane lands (Bane is a form of land tenure) problem in Kodagu at the State Government level appears to be running into more complications.

The issue is yet to come up before the Cabinet as promised by all those from Kodagu who had spoken in favour of an early solution.

The lasting solution that was ‘definitely’ in sight with regard to Bane lands had eluded all so far.

The lasting solution contained in the draft copy placed at the first meeting held in October 2010 was that landholders would get rights over Bane lands irrespective of whether the Bane land is cultivated or not.

Another proposal was that landholders would have to pay 20 per cent of the value of the trees on Bane lands to be able to own them. However, felling would be subject to the rules of the Forest Department.

The first meeting was attended by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, and the former MLC A.K. Subbaiah. The second meeting held in the last week of November 2010 had ended without a result. It was attended by M.C. Nanaiah, MLC.

The matter was to have come up before the Cabinet on Thursday (February 3), but the Principal Secretary, Department of Revenue, is said to have sought time to “study” the matter.

It is said that certain groups of environmentalists and a prominent political leader from Kodagu had demanded a debate on the subject.

Mr. Bopaiah, had consulted the MLC, A.K. Subbaiah, who is well versed with every aspect of Bane land issue.

The contention of the State Government that Bane lands in Kodagu were forest lands had lost merit after the BJP Government withdrew the controversial revenue circulars (of October 2006 and January 2007) on June 11, 2008.

The circulars had put restrictions on the cultivation of Bane lands and bringing it under assessment. Such assessed lands would give the landholder rights over the lands.

This is in consistent with the High Court orders (pertaining to Chekkera Poovaiah Vs State of Karnataka case).

However, the draft copy placed at the first meeting in Bangalore in October last had suggested that rights over Bane lands could be given irrespective of cultivation.

Mr. Nanaiah had written to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa expressing apprehension that efforts were on to remove the word “Jamma”, which was a special privilege being enjoyed by certain people of Kodagu, mainly Kodavas.

If the word was “dropped” it would rob the local people of “Coorg by race” tag and also certain other Jamma holders of the privilege to hold fire arms without having to obtain licence (they just required to possess exemption certificates).

Controversy had surrounded the Bane land issue in Kodagu. An observation made by the Conservator of Forests, Kodagu Circle, sometime ago that all Bane lands that had been converted as “paradheena” (“paradheena”is Bane lands cultivated and assessed for revenue and it gives occupancy rights to the landholder) since the coming into being of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act (KLRA) from April 1, 1964, was invalid.

-The Hindu

Al Ameen to organise mass marriage

Al Ameen, Kodagu district unit, will conduct mass marriage of 25 eligible poor and orphan Muslim girls in the district here on May 15, publicity secretary of the organisation M.E. Mohammad said here on Tuesday.

He told presspersons that applications were available at select outlets in Madikeri, Somwarpet, Kodlipet, Shanivarasante, Kushalnagar, Sunticoppa, Nellihudikeri, Gonicoppa, Virajpet and Napoklu. Filled-in applications by the parents or guardians should be submitted to the Al-Ameen office here by February 20, Mr. Mohammad said. About Rs. 22.50 lakh was expected to be incurred — Rs. 90,000 for each marriage — and efforts were made to mobilise donations from the benevolent public in the district. As many as 165 Muslim girls had availed the benefits since last six years, Mr. Mohammad said. If the number of the Muslim girls touched or exceeded 25, the State Government would contribute Rs. 10,000 to each girl under the “Adarsha Vivaha” scheme of the Government.

Al-Ameen would try and resolve the post-marital disputes that could arise involving the girls covered under the mass marriage, Kodagu Al Ameen president F.A. Mohammad Haji said.

Al-Ameen principal convenor M.H. Nooruddin, general secretary K.Y. Quraishi and member Hasan Kunji Haji were present.

-The Hindu

Posts vacant in tourism dept

Kodagu district’s pristine verdant forests, coffee plantations and hillocks captivate tourists. Inspite of the government releasing crores of rupess, tourist spots are not developing in the way they are expected to develop. 

 In fact, several main posts in Tourism department in Kodagu district are lying vacant for the last several years. Inspite of discussing the issue in the KDP meeting in the presence of District-in-Charge Minister, no concrete measures have been taken to fill the vacancies. As a result, the funds released for the development of tourist spots remain unutilised and the development has taken a back seat.

The work on setting up of ‘Kodava Paramparika Kendra’ at Kalakeri-Nidugane remains neglected. Though the government has released fund for the same, the work is yet to commence. Moreover, five acre land has been handed over to the PWD for the setting up of the centre.

At the same time, the government has sanctioned Rs 25 lakh for undertaking development works at Hattihole falls. According to sources, the files related to the development of Hattihole falls has been sent to the government for the administrative approval. A sum of Rs 10 lakh has been sanctioned for the development of Irpu falls in Virajpet taluk. However, half of the released amount is yet to be utilised.

A sum of Rs 40 lakh has been released for the development of Mahadeshwara betta in Somwarpet taluk. However, a sum of Rs 20 lakh has been released so far. The tragedy is that there is no one in tourism department to inform anyone as how much money has been utilised for the development of tourist spots.

In the meantime, the government has released a sum of Rs one crore for the development of nine tourist spots in the district. Of which, the work on Mallalli falls and Honnammanakere in Somwarpet taluk are under progress.

An action plan was prepared for the acquisition of five acre land adjacent to Raja Seat three to four years ago.

It was planned to extend the park and to set up a ‘view point.’ An action plan of Rs 1.47 crore was prepared for the Raja Seat in the past. Of which, Rs 20 lakh has been released by the government.

In fact, in the recent KDP meeting, District-in-Charge Minister C H Vijayashankar had directed the Tourism department in-charge Assistant Director to prepare a plan for the integrated development tourism in Kodagu. However, no one is aware whether the plan has been prepared or not.