BELAGAVI: At a time when there is a demand to shift some government offices from Bengaluru to Belagavi to develop Suvarna Vidhana Soudha as another power centre in the state, the government on Thursday issued orders to shift divisional and sub-divisional offices of Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project (KSHIP) from Belagavi to Hassan and Madikeri respectively.
This decision comes barely a week after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy admitted that he would himself shoulder the responsibility of developing North Karnataka. Organisations demanding development of North Karnataka have blamed Revenue Minister H D Revanna for meting out a raw deal and have alleged that he was directly involved in moving out the offices from Belagavi. A decision to shift the offices was taken at the meetings of the Revenue Department chaired by Revanna on July 11 and July 25. An official order, however, was issued on July 27.
The move comes at a time when major projects of the agency in Belagavi division are at the stage of implementation and several others yet to be taken up. According to the order, both the offices of KSHIP have been shifted along with the posts of officials to Hassan and Madikeri. This means, all officials working on several KSHIP projects in different parts of Belagavi region, will have to move to Hassan and Madikeri with immediate effect.
It is still unclear as to whether the pending and ongoing projects of KSHIP in Belagavi would be completed or be put on hold. So far, Hassan did not have a KSHIP office to monitor or implement works related to state highway development or improvement. To streamline the process, it is said that Revanna got a new office set up in Hassan.
Meanwhile, pro-Kannada organisations have questioned the government on the fate of the pending KSHIP works stating that at least 30% of the works in the region are yet to be taken up.It may be noted that several organisations from different districts of North Karnataka had staged a series of protests in front of Suvarna Soudha in the last few months demanding shifting of some government offices to Belagavi. “To add pace to development of North Karnataka, it is essential to turn Suvarna Soudha into a power centre. So, we have been urging the government to make it fully functional. Unfortunately, the government has kept the `400-crore worth Soudha like a showpiece till now,’’ Ashok Pujari, president, Uttara Karnataka Vikas Vedike, said.
Recently, many seers staged a dharna in front of Suvarna Soudha. They withdrew stir only after top BJP leaders assured them of taking up the issue with the government.
Ongoing KSHIP projects in NK
- Dharwad-Saundatti road development work
- Road connecting Ramdurg, Pattadkal, Badami and Kamatagi
- Junction improvement work on Belagavi-Yaragatti Road
- Preliminary work for Gadag-Honnali road