An open letter to ministers, MLAs of DK - What we expect for Mangalore

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

May 26, 2013

To Ministers and MLAs of Dakshina Kannada,
Now that the Karnataka electorate has given a clear mandate for the Congress in the recently concluded assembly elections it is time for the Congress to come out of the victory and celebration mood and get into business by paying attention to the actual governance. Instead of causing public nuisance and inconvenience through street processions and celebrations, it is time to get down to business and repay the debt to the electorate who has brought them back to power.

It is well known that during the five years of BJP rule development took a backseat despite the BJP claiming on the contrary. Whatever progress the state might have witnessed was just the continuation of the developmental initiatives taken earlier. Under BJP rule the state witnessed the worst kind of conduct and character of its leaders and the lust for power, the kind of which is unheard and unseen in Karnataka or any of the states at least in the south. Corruption became an order of the day and instability constantly haunted the BJP government. People were fed up and dejected with the BJP’s misrule and voted for a change when the opportunity came on their way.

The Congress therefore cannot afford to bask in the glory of its win because it was a vote against the corrupt BJP government and not the endorsement of the Congress party which is caught in a whirlpool of scandals of a larger magnitude at the centre, which independent India has not heard or witnessed. The people of Karnataka wanted to teach a bitter lesson to the BJP and come out of the nightmarish rule of the BJP. It is therefore natural for the people of the state to expect the Congress to conduct itself in an exemplary way unlike its predecessor.

In coastal Karnataka, considered to be the backyard of BJP and Sangh Parivar, the BJP received a complete drubbing from which the party may not be able to recover in the near future. As if to celebrate the victory, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has given ministerial portfolios to four MLA’s from Dakshina Kannada alone, which is another first to the district. With parliamentary elections round the corner this move might rake in rich dividend to the Congress if you, the ministers and other elected representatives, work for the welfare of the people by initiating developmental works and other initiatives.

Some of the burning issues that call for immediate attention and need to be acted upon on a war footing in Mangalore are improving law and order, construction of a modern high-tech service bus stand, improving old bus stand, improving KSRTC footpath, proper parking facilities in important places within the city, cleaning up existing parking lots, cleanliness by ensuring that dumped wastecleaned regularly and systematically or its recycling, developing proper pathways on concrete roads, steps to construct flyover on Nanthoor junction which is in total mess, cleaning the road leading to NMPT, improved facilities at NMPT for tourists, speeding up the work on hanging bridge at Sultan Battery, developing beach tourism, provide proper facilities at tourist places, a new swimming pool to keep pace with the growing population and better health facilities for the poor and the needy. The central market in the city needs a makeover at the earliest, and construction of the much awaited fisheries dock and speeding up the work related to district theatre “Rangamandira” should also be taken on a war footing.

Improving the drainage system would go a long way in ensuring that the ADB-funded underground drainage project in the city is fully utilized. There have been no takers for the underground drainage infrastructure (UGD) of the corporation and it is time the MCC comes up with a systematic policy to ensure the households get connected to UGD. It is left to the government to convince the one lakh odd households having leach pit connections to switch over to UGD. The current integrated master plan of the city which is not scientific needs a relook keeping in view of the pace of the overall development.

It is time the elected representatives pay attention to impress upon the NHAI authorities to take up the work of the aborted flyover in Nanthoor junction which often leads to traffic snarls. It is one of the worst traffic circles in the city as of now and the coming rainy season is going to be a crucial time for commuters on this junction. Work on Maroli flyover also should be speeded up as it has been going on for almost seven years now. As our youth are forced to go out of Mangalore in search of better career opportunities soon after their studies it is necessary to create suitable job opportunities to them in and around Mangalore. Speeding up the II phase of SEZ project would certainly result in creating more employment opportunities. This would also enable Mangalore to emerge as the number two city in Karnataka after Bangalore.

There is also an urgent need to build logistic base for land, sea and air cargo system in the city. The setting up of the Cargo complex which became operational recently with the first consignment to Dubai should be expanded to give more a fillip to imports and exports.

If our ministers and elected representatives work with the sincerity it calls for, getting these developmental works is not a difficult task at all. All you need to do is to take the initiative and follow it up. Five years is quite a long time to get these things done. Let us hope it is not too much to ask for by the electorate which has elected you leaders with such a thumping majority.

At the same time the leaders should give a food for thought as to what catapulted the Congress in Karnataka for such a thumping victory and the complete annihilation of the BJP. Agreed, corruption and lack of development was the hallmark of BJP’s five years of misrule. Since corruption and lack of governance was the dominant issue one is tempted to ask whether the Congress which is caught in a whirlpool of scandals of a larger magnitude at the centre, is better than the BJP? Or is its rule any blemish less than other non-Congress ruled states? The answer is a definite no. But character and good conduct is also something which the people expect from our representatives and one expects the Congress leaders to bear this in mind.