Says funds for rural areas are falling, and urban areas are getting more
A.G. Kodgi, Chairman of the Task Force for Implementation of Third Finance Commission Report, said on Wednesday that the State government should set aside Rs. 10,000 crore for rural development in its budget for 2013-14.
Mr. Kodgi was chairing a meeting of elected representatives and officers on important matters to be included in the State Budget of 2013-14 at the Zilla Panchayat Hall, in Udupi.
He said the State government had provided Rs. 8,500 crore for rural development for 2012-13. But the money being allocated to the rural areas was coming down while that to urban areas had gone up.
The government should provide discretionary fund to all the zilla panchayats in the State ranging from Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 10 crore depending on the population of the districts. This would help the zilla panchayats to take up emergency works. The Government should provide Rs. 100 crore to the Coastal Development Authority (CDA) and give it executive powers, Mr. Kodgi said.
Tingale Vikramarjuna Hegde, Chairman of CDA, informed the meeting that tenders had been floated to implement drinking water projects in 20 places in the district under the Multi-Village Scheme.
Mr. Kodgi said that all the roads, including the National Highway (NH) 66, were in bad shape in the district. The widening works on NH 66 were half complete in almost all places in the district. Lack of roadside drains was responsible for the bad condition of Major District Roads and roads coming under the Public Works Department, he said.
M.T. Reju, Deputy Commissioner, said there were no impediments to continuing the widening works on NH 66. Mr. Kodgi said a proposal should be sent to the State government to increase funds for maintenance of roads coming under the State Government as the district received heavy rains, which damaged the roads, he said.
Mr. Kodgi said that the CDA should prepare a blueprint for the integral development of all the three coastal districts. The State government had released Rs. 10 crore for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Soubhagya Sanjeevini scheme, which aimed at constructing dams against 13-west flowing rivers in the three coastal districts. The officials should put in more efforts to see that all houses in rural areas were provided with toilets in the district, he said.
Upendra Nayak, President of Udupi Zilla Panchayat, Mamatha R. Shetty, Vice-President, S.A. Prabhakar Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, and Vijay Kumar, Chief Planning Officer, were present.