Repair of Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road: Siddaramaiah govt no better than previous BJP regime
By P.T. Bopanna
The Congress government in Karnataka led by chief minister Siddaramaiah has ‘abandoned’ work on the repair of the Hunsur-Kodagu road. The Siddaramaiah government too has hoodwinked the people of Kodagu in the same way the previous BJP government had played trick on the people by taking up work on the road on the eve of the last Assembly elections.
The work on the Hunsur-Anechowkur stretch of the road has been stopped for the last one month. This reporter who travelled on the road a few days ago, found construction equipment ‘abandoned’ by the side of the road. Work has come to a standstill throughout the stretch.
The only work completed so far is the 10 km stretch from Kalbetta on the outskirts of Hunsur towards Panchavalli. There was some work in progress from Anechowkur towards Gonikoppal.
Though broadening of the road has been done on the Hunsur-Gonikoppal road, tarring the surface of the road has not been taken up. Consequently, though the road is motorable, it will be a bumpy ride as the road is uneven. Craters abound throughout and this makes difficult for cars to negotiate. The road has become very dusty and this makes driving difficult.
It may be recalled the previous BJP government had gone back on the assurance to start work on the Hunsur-Gonikoppal road, which had been nick-named the ‘road to hell’ because of the neglect of the road for decades by successive governments. The road work started only after Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj intervened. But this was short-lived as the work came to a halt after the Assembly polls.
Work on the road got a new lease of life last August after Mr P. Manivannan, IAS, chief project officer at Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project, took notice of the situation following a sustained online campaign on the Facebook page ‘Repair Hunsur-Gonikoppal Road’.
Mr Manivannan convinced Dr H.C. Mahadevappa, the PWD minister, on the urgent need for starting the work. Dr Mahadeveppa, who is also the district in-charge minister for Kodagu and a close confidante of chief minister Siddaramaiah, took interest in re-starting work on the road and promised to complete the work before the onset of the next monsoon.
It looks like that even Dr Mahadevappa is not in a mood to deliver on his promise, even though he is the PWD minister.
The Mysore-Kodagu Lok Sabha member Adagur H. Vishwanath of the Congress has totally neglected his constituency. His only pre-occupation has been back room caste politics. The Congress is reportedly planning to dump him in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, because he has become a political liability in the constituency.
The two BJP MLAs from Kodagu, K.G. Bopaiah and Appachu Ranjan have given the impression that they are helpless because the Congress is in power in the state.
The only way work on the road could re-start is to prevail upon Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the urgent need for completing work on Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Virajpet road when he visits Madikeri to inaugurate the Kannada conference on January 7. This will definitely yield political results for Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.