By P.T. Bopanna
The failure of the JD (S)-Congress government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy to complete the rehabilitation of people affected by last year’s floods and landslides in Kodagu (Coorg) is one of the major failures of the coalition government.
This despite the fact there was no funds’ crunch as the public had contributed generously towards flood relief.
The main culprit for the delay in completing the rehabilitation is the district in-charge minister and JD (S) leader S.R. Mahesh. He was away from Kodagu for more than two months and busy campaigning at Mandya for chief minister Kumraswamy’s son Nikhil. The work almost came to a standstill in his absence.
Karnataka Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar has to be blamed for transfer of key officials involved in rehabilitation. Though the then Kodagu DC P.I. Sreevidya did a remarkable job in the initial months of the floods, she exited under mysterious circumstances followed by top officials involved in rehabilitation.
Thankfully the state government has appointed a sincere official to head the district administration. Unfortunately, Annies K. Joy assumed the post of DC when the monsoon was approaching.
Most of the houses for the victims of the floods are yet to be completed and the major roads washed away in last monsoon have not yet been rebuilt. Only temporary measures have been taken by placing sandbags to prop up the roads and curves.
The legislators from the district have not lived up to the expectations of the people. It is time they shed their image as puppets in the hands of the timber lobby.
The Kodagu MP Pratap Simha is a liability for the district. He could have got a special package for Kodagu from the Centre towards the rehabilitation of the victims. On the other hand, he was preoccupied with lobbying for train to Kushalanagar, a project which has the potential to trigger more landslides in Kodagu.
CONCLUSION: Though chief minister Kumaraswamy was sympathetic to Kodagu, the execution of his promises was far from satisfactory. He visited Kodagu and heard the woes of the people affected by the floods. Unfortunately, he was preoccupied with saving his chair and promoting his son, instead of spending his energies on solving the problems faced by people.