Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Daijiworld Media Network - Karkala (HB)
Karkala, Mar 17: Members of Hebri Taluk Horata Samiti on Friday March 17 observed a successful half-day bandh demanding the inclusion of Hebri in the list of new taluks announced in the recent state budget.
Addressing a protest meet in the town, Bhaskar Jois, president of Hebri Taluk Horata Samiti said, "People of Hebri who have been hoping for taluk status from the past six decades are disappointed again. We had observed peaceful protests earlier, but this time we are here to express our anger. The Taluk Reorganisation Committee, headed by M B Prakash in its 2008 report clearly said that Hebri is more than qualified to become a taluk considering all the criteria.
"If Kaup MLA Vinay Kumar Sorake can successfully achieve taluk status for Kaup, why not do the same for Hebri? We are still optimistic and hope that chief minister Siddaramaiah will include Hebri in the list of taluks in the next six days," he said.
Mutlupadi Satish Shetty addressing the protestors said, "Attaining taluk status has been a long-pending dream of late Vittal Shetty. Hebri was not included in the list of taluks in this year's state budget. We are protesting not against any political party, but demanding the status of taluk for Hebri.
"According to M B Prakash report, Hebri has all the infrastructure needed to be approved as a taluk, but the state government is not doing so. There are 42 villages in the Karkala and the population of Hebri is more than what a taluk requires," he informed.
"There is lack of basic infrastructure in remote villages like Someshwar, Nadpalu and Kudlu. These villages are naxal-infested areas. People from Hebri have to travel 45 km to Karkala for everything. There is no proper bus facility and electricity as well," he added.
He also said, "Udupi district in-charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj is not only the minister for Udupi, but Karkala also. It is his responsibility to address the problems faced by the residents of Karkala. Former MLA Gopal Bhandary is the honourary president of the samiti and the protest is going on in his absence. Party politics is being played in the formation of Hebri taluk.
"The members of Hebri Taluk Horata Samiti want the state government to announce Hebri as a taluk within six days from today. Otherwise, people will lose hope on the Congress government. People’s representatives should be united and pressurize the government. If Hebri is not approved as a taluk now, it will never ever happen. Once announced as a taluk, development in Hebri can happen over the years," he concluded.
The bandh was successful as hotel and shop owners expressed their support by closing down for half a day. The samiti were not granted permission to organize a huge level protest meet due to the ongoing PU examinations.
Members of Hebri Taluk Horata Samiti, zilla panchayat, taluk panchayat and Karmika Rakshana Vedike were present.