Vehicles of devotees allowed on Konanur-Makutta road

Madikeri: Kodagu Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwatha Narayana Gowda has granted temporary permission to devotees from Kodagu to use the Konanur-Makutta State highway to visit Bythurappa temple (Vayathur temple) in Kerala for the annual festival from January 22 to 25. Vehicular traffic on the road is banned in view of the road laying works.

Mr. Gowda had banned use of road for all category of vehicles to facilitate roadworks. Konanur-Makutta road connects Kodagu with Kerala. Devotees could use light motor vehicles only, not hired vehicles, to reach the Bythurappa temple located in Kerala, only as a special case. Such vehicles should not cause any hindrance to the ongoing roadworks, Mr. Gowda said, according to an official release here.

Permission sought

The Puggera Kodava family, which is involved in organising the annual Bythurappa festival in Vayathur in Kerala, in the name of Bythurappa Sangha, Devanageri village, near Virajpet, had sought permission from the district administration on January 8 to open the road for light motor vehicle traffic in view of the festival at Vayathur.

The opinion of the Public Works Department, which is executing the roadworks, was obtained earlier. The issue was brought to the notice of the Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar, Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan and MLC M.C. Nanaiah, who too had concurred with the idea of opening the road temporarily to facilitate movement of devotees from Kodagu to Vayathur as a special case.

-The Hindu

Merchants-in-disguise abscond with the loot

In bizarre news, a newly opened business establishment in Virajpet was suddenly closed-down with its entire staff absconding.

 The business house, ‘Kamali Enterprises’, opened by five partners from Tamil Nadu, distributed pamphlets and gained confidence of general public to trade with them on various discounted items. Customers were offered ten percent discount against straight purchase and ‘fifty percent’ off if they could wait for ten days for the delivery of items after payment.

 Yesterday the customers had a shock of their life when they noticed the shop was closed, nobody was seen around and the phone calls were not returned.

 A criminal complaint has been lodged against the fugitives who are on the run with a loot of approximately Rs. twenty-five lakhs. Police have registered a case and the investigation is on.


Rain damages crops in Kodagu

Paddy crops in an estimated area of about 7,154.86 acres have been damaged due to the recent untimely rains in the three taluks of the district, resulting in huge losses. 

The loss has occurred in such a critical juncture that the farmers were preparing for the harvest.

Major loss has occurred in Virajpet taluk that stands first in paddy production in Kodagu. The Department of Agriculture has estimated that paddy grown in an area of 5,085.50 acres has been damaged in the taluk. The extent of loss in Madikeri taluk goes up to 1,531.80 acres in Madikeri and 537.50 acres in Somwarpet taluk.

The untimely rains have made the farmers’ life miserable. Since heavy rains lashed in the times of harvest, the entire yield got washed away in the storm water. Paddy started sprouting on the water-clogged fields.

In some places, the matured corns got spoiled in the rains before they were separated from the hay. The farmer was totally helpless when the fruits of his labour was being destroyed by the unwanted guest. Even after 15 days of new year, a cloudy atmosphere has continued in the district. Some places are getting rains even today which has worsened the condition of the farmers. They are struggling to dry the paddy on their courtyard.

Large land holders tried to protect their yield by purchasing plastic sheets, but the state of small farmers is really pathetic.

Farmers have incurred 10-50 per cent loss in their paddy yield. But only those farmers with over 50 per cent paddy loss are eligible for compensation from the government. The coffee growers themselves are awaiting compensation for the loss incurred three years back, and what would be the condition of the paddy growers?

This is the main question before everyone. The area of paddy production is decreasing day by day due to shortage of farm labourers. Many farmers are diverting themselves towards alternative crops such as ginger, areca and banana. Many paddy growers have decided to go for some other crops from the coming year.

The rains have destroyed even fodder. Livestock will certainly face shortage of fodder in the days to come. Farmers who were planning to sell hay to Kerala and earn some money, lost their dreams. Even the market of paddy has collapsed since majority of the yield has got moisture.

The price of rice has already crossed Rs 40 per kg in Kodagu. Traders are of the view that there is no surprise if it crosses Rs 50 per kg of rice since major crop losses have taken place in the northern Karnataka.


Virajpet town panchayat president resigns

President of the Virajpet town panchayat Kanti Belliappa has tendered her resignation on Saturday as the Opposition members in the panchayat were preparing to move a no-confidence motion against her.

In a dramatic development that unfolded on September 26, 2009, as many as 12 members of the panchayat had ‘passed’ a ‘no-confidence’ motion against Ms. Belliappa, and ‘installed’ B.K. Chandru, the current vice-president as the president of the panchayat. Of the total 16 members in the panchayat, 12 members from the BJP, Congress and the JD (S) attended the meeting to oust Ms. Belliappa from her position in her absence. But Ms. Belliappa had refused to resign and the matter was taken to the court.

Ms. Belliappa said on Saturday that she was tendering her resignation as soon as the in-charge chief officer of the panchayat Nagaratna started reading out the no-confidence motion being passed against her. She submitted her resignation to Ms. Nagaratna and walked out of the meeting hall.

Eleven members of the total 16 voted for the no-confidence motion. Interestingly, A.H. Vishwanath, MP, who was present, also supported the no-confidence motion by raising his hand, taking the total votes against Ms. Bellliappa to 12.

The panchayat members who voted against her were vice-president B.K. Chandru, M.K. Poovaiah, Satish and Tara (all Congress), Zareena Noor, Maria Sequeira, Moinuddin and Mateen (JD-S), Independent member Kausar and two BJP members – Katti Poonacha and B.A. Kumar.

Those who did not support the no-confidence motion were besides Ms. Belliappa herself, Kootanda Suresh, Umavathi and Savita. Congress member Madan Mandanna was absent.

BJP members Mr. Poonacha and Mr. Kumar defied the ‘whip’ issued by the BJP to vote against Ms. Belliappa. She had won from the JD (S) and later joined the BJP.

On hearing the news of Ms. Belliappa’s resignation, members of the Congress and certain others owing allegiance to a particular organisation celebrated by bursting firecrackers outside the town hall.

Reacting later, Ms. Belliappa said political power was not permanent as winning and losing always was part of political game. She would accept defeat and success equally. She considered failure as the stepping stone for success. Ms. Belliappa clarified that she had resigned on her own and not under any pressure.

-The Hindu

Suvarna Samskrithika Samucchaya yet to take off

“The land issue related to the construction of Suvarna Samskrithika Samucchaya is a minor issue. In case of necessity, I will hold discussion with the Kannada and Culture department senior officials and Kodagu Deputy Commissioner,” said Youth Service and Sports department Secretary I M Vittalamurthy.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, after inspecting the ongoing indoor and outdoor stadium work, he said CMC had okayed the construction of Suvarna Samskrithika Samucchaya at Cauvery Kalakshetra land. However, it had failed to hand over the land.

Vittalamurthy said “even CMC land belongs to the government. Even if CMC fails to hand over the land, Kannada and Culture department can construct the complex and make available for the public use. However, if Kannada and Culture department constructs the complex and hands it over to CMC, then the maintenance cost will be more. It is better if Kannada and Culture department looks into its maintenance. It is better if district administration, CMC and Kannada and Culture department comes into a consensus at the earliest.”

The Suvarna Samskrithika Samucchaya was sanctioned to Dharwad, Udupi and Shimoga along with Madikeri. The work on the complex is complete in Dharwad, Udupi and Shimoga. However, it is a tragedy that the work is pending owing to land issue in Kodagu, he added.

‘Swimming pool’
Youth Service and Sports Department Secretary I M Vittalamurthy directed Assistant Director and Land Army Corporation to send a proposal on the revival of swimming pool near Man’s Compound.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, after inspecting the ongoing work on indoor and outdoor stadium at Field Marshal K M Kariappa stadium on Saturday, he said Land Army Corporation Assistant Director Panduranga had said that an action plan of Rs 45 lakh has been prepared for the revival of the swimming pool. However, I have directed them to include filter in the scheme and submit a proposal for Rs one crore. Funds will be earmarked for the purpose in the budget in 2010-11.”

The proposal of Rs 2 crore additional grant towards hockey synthetic maidan at Ponnampet or Virajpet is before the finance department. Funds will be released at the earliest, he added.

To make use of ‘Kalls’ started by Ashwini Nachappa, many have suggested to set up a hockey maidan near it. Moreover, Assembly in-charge Speaker K G Bopaiah had suggested to set up synthetic hockey maidan in Ponnampet. “We will initiate action to set up maidan in a place which will be approved by all.”
He also expressed displeasure over the functioning of Land Army Corporation.


White OWL seized

Police sleuths have seized a white owl illegally being held by a driver and registered a case. The Mobile police squad raided the house of a driver Raja at Jodubeeti near Gonicoppal yesterday and seized the owl.

According to police, the accused was selling the white owls regularly for a high price to Kerala and other states. The rate of the owl ranges between two to five lakhs they said.

– ShakthiDaily

Police announcs reward for nabbing thief

Madikeri, Nov 19 : Police today announced a reward of Rupees 5,000 to the people who assist them in tracing the whereabouts of a thief, who stole pepper worth Rupees 4.5 lakh.

Police, who have announced a reward of Rs 5000, today said K Navin Cariappa had been accused of stealing the produce belonging to the owner of estate he was working Devanur village near Gonicoppal.

The accused, the estate writer, his wife and three others had stolen pepper and transported it in a lorry and sold it when the estate owner had taken her aged husband for medical treatment to Delhi, police said.

Both the wife, identified as Rathi, and an auto driver Kuttappa had been arrested and efforts were on to trace Navin and two other accused, police added.