Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road: Are politicians in Kodagu taking voters for a ride?
Are the ruling BJP politicians in Kodagu taking the voters for a ride by starting work on the Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road just when the elections to the Karnataka Assembly are around the corner?
When Speaker K.G. Bopaiah and Kodagu in-charge minister Appachu Ranjan recently inaugurated the road work at Anechoukoor with much fanfare, it became evident that the politicians were more interested in the photo opportunity provided by the occasion, rather than in repairing the 45-km road which has already won the sobriquet of being the “road to hell”.
Speaking on the occasion, Bopaiah said the work on the road should have commenced a year ago, but was delayed due to ‘technical’ reasons.
Those who have a basic knowledge of the games played by politicians would know that works are taken up only when elections are around, to hoodwink the people into believing that they are working for the development of the constituency.
This kind of political gimmicks will have its impact on the quality of the road work because the contractor is bound to do a slip-shod job as he has to complete the work before the election deadline.
According to Bopaiah, the Rs 100.50 crore Hunsur road project will be completed in 11 months. Assuming that the work is started immediately on a war-footing, there will be just two months left for the monsoon to set in when the work will come to a standstill.
It may be recalled when www.coorgtourisminfo.com, Kodagu’s first news portal, started an online campaign in August, 2012, focussing attention on the poor condition of the road, Bopaiah and Appachu Ranjan had responded by stating that work on the road would be taken up in November.
However, when the work failed to start in November as promised by the duo, this reporter met Karnataka’s Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj and submitted a memorandum, for taking up the road work.
Responding to the memorandum, the Governor’s office directed the Principal Secretary, Public works, to take action on the pathetic condition of the road. In a letter to the Principal Secretary to the Public Works Department, the Governor’s Secretary stated: “I am directed to forward herewith the representation dated November 13, 2012, of Sri P.T. Bopanna, Bangalore, for taking the work early. Report on action taken on this matter may kindly be intimated to this Secretariat.”
It is not just with the Hunsur Road, but with almost all the roads in Kodagu, work on repairing the roads started only in the last couple of month, though the Speaker has been at the helm for the last five years.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The voters should not be misled by the gimmicks being played out by the politicians by starting work on various projects only around the time of the elections. It is nauseating to see advertisements in the local media from the power brokers eulogising the leaders for taking up work involving “crores of rupees”.
Sometime ago, minister Appachu Ranjan had claimed that the BJP government had spent Rs 1,557 crore in Kodagu in the past five years. But voters are clever enough to know the veracity of such claims and beneficiaries of the huge funds.