News Karnataka
Wednesday, April 24 2024

BJP’s sand policy responsible for sand shortage: Harish Kumar

Harish Kumar
Photo Credit : News Karnataka

Mangaluru: In Dakshina Kannada district, the shortage of sand is attributed to the sand policy during the four-year tenure of the BJP, rather than the Congress government. Harish Kumar, the Congress district president, raised questions regarding the implementation of the BJP state president’s statement about delivering one load of sand to people’s doorsteps for Rs 2,000. This response comes in the wake of allegations made by BJP MLA Vedavyas Kamath against the Congress government during a press conference held at the district Congress office in Mangaluru on Wednesday.

During U.T. Khader’s tenure as a Minister, he established a sand bazaar with the aim of ensuring the availability of affordable sand within a short timeframe. The question arises: who was responsible for discontinuing it? Harish Kumar pointed out that during MLA Vedavyas Kamath’s four-year term, sand mining occurred in restricted areas beneath bridges through dredging. He emphasized that the current government has been in power for only four months, highlighting that modifications were made under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) during Oscar Fernandes’ time as a Union minister. There is an opportunity for the “double-engine” government to address these concerns, but no visible efforts have been made yet. Harish Kumar questioned whether the delegation had made any attempts to engage with the central government on this matter.

Harish Kumar alleged that the utilization of smart city funds was disorderly during the BJP’s administration. He mentioned that the Shirdi Ghat tunnel project had progressed to the Detailed Project Report (DPR) stage during Oscar’s tenure as a minister. He questioned the lack of progress on this scheme in the ten years following the BJP’s assumption of power and advised against shifting the blame onto the Congress for responsibilities not fulfilled. Harish Kumar also inquired about the delay in constructing the Nanthur flyover and the deteriorating condition of the Pumpwell area, which has turned into a virtual swimming pool due to heavy rains, and he wondered why these issues were not being addressed.

There’s news circulating about the initiation of the Surathkal toll. Harish Kumar threw down a challenge to the BJP MLAs, urging them to provide a clear confirmation on whether it will indeed commence. He emphasized the need for truth-telling now, considering the toll’s closure had been the result of persistent struggles. He also criticized the BJP state president, suggesting that instead of discussing road and drainage development before elections, they should focus on topics like Hindutva and love jihad.

Harish Kumar raised a pertinent question about why the BJP is now experiencing infrastructure development when the work had been undertaken without proper authorization and now faces financial constraints. He argued that it was the BJP government that initiated discriminatory practices in fund allocation, emphasizing that funds cannot be allocated for projects conducted without the necessary administrative approvals during their regime.

During the last term of the BJP’s rule, contractors received a significant sum of Rs 30,000 crore. If there are pending bills for the work completed, they need to be settled. Harish Kumar questioned the request for bills concerning unauthorized projects.

He also criticized Vedavyas Kamath, highlighting his lack of experience and comparing it to an engine that generates smoke but doesn’t function. He suggested that opposition might be a better fit for Kamath and recommended that he make it a permanent choice.

With Modi offering a guarantee in Chhattisgarh, could this potentially strain the government financially? Is it positive that the central government, which has been silent on conducting a drought assessment in the state and providing assistance, is now adopting a Congress-like approach with guarantees? Harish Kumar remarked that the BJP’s accomplishment has primarily been renaming schemes that were initially implemented by the Congress during its tenure.

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