BENGALURU: Road connectivity in many taluks and villages across many parts of the state, especially in the flood-hit areas of Northern Karnataka, is yet to be fully restored and there is a groundswell of anger as the issue has not been addressed for long. Several MLAs have written to the CM and the minister concerned over the last 30 months. The issue was even raised in the recent legislature session, but much remains to be done.
JDS deputy leader in the Assembly and former minister Bandeppa Kashempur told TNIE, “In my constituency in South Bidar, an entire village road connecting to Sirasi, another village, which has a population of about 5,000, was washed away. The road has been rendered unusable for about four months now and people are forced to use an alternative road. We have got the PWD executive engineer and chief engineer to visit the spot. The road work was estimated to cost Rs 1.3 crore but still remains to be done. The government should have attended to infrastructure on a war-footing. I have complained to PWD minister C C Patil, but they have not taken up any work so far. There are several such instances.’’
Jewargi Congress MLA Dr Ajay Singh said that due to excess rain, entire road stretches at Tilakbal village and Harwal village have been significantly damaged. Proposals were sent about 12 months ago through zilla panchayat, PWD and other departments and it was estimated that about Rs 120 crore would be needed to restore the road infrastructure.
But they have released just Rs 2-3 crore and the work is still pending. Since they claim it is a double-engine BJP government, they can get funds from the Centre in addition to the state funds. We have not received any kind of essential assistance. In addition to this, a proposal for important roads still remains unattended. It is embarrassing to give an answer to our constituents,’’ Dr Singh rued.
Congress president D K Shivakumar said, “The government should fill up potholes and fix stretches of roads which have been badly damaged for so long. All works, regardless of which party the local legislator represents, has to be attended to without any bias. Funds have to be equitably distributed and there should be no preference for ruling party MLAs, as being done now.’’
Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol, who held the PWD portfolio earlier, told TNIE, “The state witnessed the heaviest rainfall in decades and due to flooding, bridges and roads were affected. It is our endeavour to ensure that infrastructure is restored.’’