Coffee boom: 2000 new cars registered in Kodagu
Is it a case of all dressed up, but nowhere to go for the planters of Kodagu?
Nearly 2,000 cars were registered in the tiny district during 2010-2011, raking in a revenue of around Rs 20 crore from road taxes to the Karnataka exchequer.
However, the condition of roads in Virajpet taluk has continued to worsen, thanks to the preoccupation of the local MLA K.G. Bopaiah, now a Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, with issues to divide the people.
Buoyed by the coffee boom, planters have gone in for new cars, but will have to keep their showpieces in the porch of their bungalows, for want of motorable roads.
According to statistics, 6,243 new vehicles were registered in Kodagu during 2010-11 as against 5,436 vehicles registered the previous year. Of the total number of vehicles, 1,959 were cars. The RTO revenue was Rs 20 crore, as against the targeted Rs 17.5 crore.
The RTO revenue had declined in the late 1990s and early 2000 due to the low coffee prices.
Though the Mysore-Madikeri road has got a brand new look, the roads in South Kodagu are in disrepair.
Speaker Bopaiah has been promising to restore the roads, but the assurance has not been implemented.
The roads in the Kutta segment involving the towns of Ponnampet, Kanoor, Srimangala, Hudikeri are in a pathetic state.
Last year, several organizations had observed road bandhs in the area, but the government has failed to respond to their demands to improve the condition of the roads.
EDITOR’S VIEW: Speaker Bopaiah, the MLA from Virajpet, should take the blame for the poor condition of the roads in his constituency. Instead of promising to provide gun licence exemption to all the indigenous people of Kodagu, he should first improve the roads. Instead of implementing a developmental agenda for the over-all progress of the district, Bopaiah seems to be pitting the Kodavas against the non-Kodavas by harping on provocative issues.