Though Karnataka has a ‘double engine’ government, the Kodagu (Coorg) district administration is in the ICU. This despite the fact that Kodagu is a bastion of the saffron party.
For those who are not familiar with the term, double engine means that since Modi government is in power at the Centre, the BJP wants people to vote for the party in states as well, to accelerate development in BJP-ruled states.
There is widespread resentment among the people of Kodagu for the poor state of roads in the district. A few days ago, volunteers repaired an arterial road themselves at Shanivarasanthe because the Public Works department failed to take up the works despite several representations from the public.
The failure of the government to maintain the roads has affected tourist traffic to the most sought after tourist destination in south India.
Sometime ago, the contractors association in the district had alleged that the local MLA was demanding 40 per cent commission in the bills.
It may be recalled that when leader of the opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah had visited Kodagu a few months ago to verify the multi-crore scam in the construction of the retaining wall at the deputy commissioner’s office at Madikeri, eggs were rained on him by alleged supporters of the BJP.
This poor state of affairs is not just confined to the state government projects, but also projects entrusted to the Union government headed by prime minister Narendra Modi.
The Karnataka High Court had directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) a few years ago to take up the repairs of the 17th century Madikeri Palace and Fort which are in a dilapidated condition and on the verge of collapse. Though the ASI started work on the project, it was abandoned a few months ago without any valid reason.
The Kodava Heritage Centre sanctioned by the Union government in 2004 at the instance of IAS officer Rathi Vinay Jha, is yet to be completed.
The blame for the poor state of the administration in Kodagu has to be taken by Dr B.C. Sateesha, the DC of Kodagu.
Moreover, the BJP government in Karnataka has failed to live up to the aspirations of the people as it is pre-occupied with non-issues and vote bank politics in the run up to the 2023 Assembly elections.