Vishwanath justifies demand for new district

Former Minister A.H. Vishwanath at a press conference in Mysuru on Tuesday.

Former Minister A.H. Vishwanath at a press conference in Mysuru on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

He says idea neither new nor a poll gimmick; claims he has been working on it for more than a year

A day after his demand for carving out a new Devaraj Urs district by bifurcating the existing Mysuru district received brickbats from his political adversaries, former Minister A.H. Vishwanath clarified that his proposal was neither new nor an electoral gimmick.

Addressing a press conference in Mysuru on Tuesday, he claimed he had been working on creation of the new district idea for more than a year now by pursuing with the authorities proposals for setting up in Hunsur KSRTC divisional office, Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company’s (CESC) circle office, and the office of a Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI).

“I have been working towards setting up a base for creation of a new district with Hunsur as its headquarters for a long time now. I have been talking about this for a year now and the proposal has appeared in sections of local media in Hunsur. It is not a new idea”, said Mr. Vishwanath, who represented Hunsur in the Assembly till he resigned in July this year and was subsequently disqualified by the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar.

Mr. Vishwanth is now awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court on the petition against his disqualification from the Assembly before any decision is taken on entering the poll fray for the December 5 by-elections.

Apart from Hunsur, the other taluks proposed to be part of the new district are K.R. Nagar, Periyapatna, H.D. Kote and the two new taluks of Sargur and Saligrama.

Citing the observations made by the T.M. Hundekar Committee and Vasudeva Rao Commission that went into reorganisation of taluks and districts a couple of decades ago, Mr. Vishwanath said smaller districts helped streamline administration.

He contended that administration becomes difficult in large and unwieldy districts and referred to the creation of 30 districts out of the originally 14 in Telangana by its Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao, as a case in point for better and smoother administration.

Till a couple of decades ago, the governments constituted expert committees to study the pros and cons of creating new districts. But, of late, successive governments had given up the practice in favour of executive decisions, he said referring to the creation of Ramanagaram and Chikkaballapur in 2007 by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Mr. Vishwanath also claimed that the proposed district will include large tracts of forest land with a wide variety of wild animals, besides regions known for producing export quality Virginia flue-cured variety of tobacco etc.

There is a huge scope for exporting fruits, flowers, vegetables and poultry products to neighbouring Kerala, which is barely 80 km from Hunsur.

Though he claimed that the sentiments of the people of the region were in favour of bifurcation of Mysuru district to create a new Devaraj Urs district, he favoured discussions with farmers, students, teachers, intellectuals, Kannada organisations and others in the region before a final decision is taken.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 7:26:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vishwanath-justifies-demand-for-new-district/article29697640.ece

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