`Set up panel on roads'

BANGALORE, MARCH 24. The State Government regards the coastal districts Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada merely as revenue generators and discriminates against them when it comes to development, the senior BJP member V.S. Acharya said in the Legislative Council today.

`Repair roads'

Speaking during the discussion on the budget, Dr. Acharya said roads in the State, other than in Bangalore, are in a deplorable state and wanted the Government to set up a steering committee to restore and repair them and build new ones, which meet international standards.

The Government, which has announced a surplus budget, has not released funds to Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. for the Hassan-Mangalore, Gadag-Solapur and Hubli-Ankola highways, he said.

Dr. Acharya said the Government is not making efforts to get the long-pending Hubli-Ankola railway line going, which is being held up for environmental reasons. He pointed out that since 1995, guidelines regarding environmental clearance have been laid down. The norms and rules are clear and the Government merely needs to comply with them and get on with the completion of projects.

Outlay on power

He criticised the Government for reducing the allocation for power by Rs. 900 crores. In Dakshina Kannada, most of the ice plants are closing down as they are unable to bear the burden of the 4 per cent tax on power. It is snowballing into a crisis for fishermen in the district, he added.

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