Creation of 43 taluks announced in budget

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s announcement in the State budget on February 8 of the creation of 43 taluks in the State has disappointed the people of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) as KGF is not on the list.

The demand for taluk status for KGF and Vemgal has been a long-standing one. But the two places do not find a mention in the budget.

Residents in these two places have in the past observed several bandhs seeking taluk tag but to no avail.

“Based on the reports submitted in the recent years, the demand from the public and due to geographical factors, it is proposed to create 43 taluks,” Mr. Shettar said in his speech.

But, people in KGF say they are disappointed that the BJP-led State government had ignored their demand for carving out a new taluk out of Bangarpet taluk. KGF (Robertsonpet) enjoys the status of a city based on population and has a City Municipal Council (CMC) besides being an Assembly constituency. KGF, which is said to be the largest city in any taluk of the State, has been given prominence since the time of the British because of mining operations there.

A nada kacheri was also started in KGF owing to the efforts of CPI (M) leader T.S. Mani while he was MLA during the 1980s.

As a result, good infrastructure has also been created. Besides that, a unit of the defence sector industry, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), is housed in KGF. Taking all these into account, various organisations have been demanding taluk tag for the region with KGF as the taluk centre.

“It is unfair on the part of the State government in not according taluk tag to KGF,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Committee member G. Arjunan told The Hindu.

Y. Sampangi, KGF MLA, is being blamed for his alleged failure in convincing the government on the issue. “KGF did not get taluk status because of Mr. Sampangi’s failure to bring pressure to bear on the government,” zilla panchayat member Mutyalamma said.

Even Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa and MLC Nazir Ahmed were critical of Mr. Sampangi’s inaction. “There was a proposal with the government to make KGF a taluk even before the Dr. M. Nanjundappa Report on backward areas was implemented,” Mr. Nazir Ahmed said.

“Mr. Sampangi’s stand in favour of carving out Bethamangala taluk deprived KGF of the taluk tag,” said Janata Dal (Secular) leader K. Rajendran.

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