E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Chief Ministers past and present, ministers and district in-charge ministers past and present, leaders of opposition past and present, MPs past and present, and leaders of all hues past, present and future visit Mysore at least once every two weeks.
They make a quick pilgrimage to the swamijis/ mutts of their choice; do a mandatory visit to Chamundi Hills, mouth some words of Mysore being a heritage city and dash off by road, rail or helicopter, only to repeat the exercise after couple of weeks with unfailing regularity.
No CM, no minister, no official seems to bother about the two major projects which should have been tackled nearly a decade back.
1. DOUBLING BANGALORE-MYSORE RAIL LINK
This, along with the electrification of the line would speed up travel between the cities, decongest Bangalore, make travel cheaper and safer for small businessmen and daily wage workers apart from reducing the traffic on Bangalore- Mysore Road and helping reduce diesel consumption and concomitant pollution. It will also improve the lot of people in smaller towns like Mandya and Chennapatna.
So far, the efforts made by the plethora of leaders in Karnataka is, to say the least, laughable.
Every few weeks new “unforeseen” problems are brought up, with leaders making claims that it’s only a matter of time before work on the track takes off before stumbling upon the fact that the land is yet to be procured for the same!
The State has become a laughing stock just being unable to take precise simple steps and work towards completion in a professional manner.
2. COMPLETION OF THE RING ROAD
As always, this was also launched with lot of fanfare with views that Mysore should have gradually at least two to three ring roads. The simple matter is the project is left midway due to complications in land acquisition, court cases and what have you. There is (0) zero ring road right now!
No leader in Karnataka is bothered to do something about it.
Due to the lack of Ring Road, the traffic in Narasimharaja Boulevard along the road to Lalitha Mahal Palace has increased manifold.
The Mysore city corporation (MCC) and its contractors (engineering and political) have a quick-fix solution for this. Why not cut the 123 full blown trees of more than 50 to 70 years and widen the road to facilitate increased traffic!
The different species of trees provide an ecological balance for the entire stretch. That an effort could be made to preserve the priceless trees if only architects come up with an alternative plan is not even attempted.
Titans of yore of the likes of Sir Mirza Ismail and Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya must be itching in their graves to come out and show how it is to be done!
It is here one feels the lack of vision, foresight amongst the entire current batch of ‘Leaders’ wedded to the “development agenda”. Nobody, CM downwards, wants to take the time off from their spiritual quest in Mysore to tackle the problems of common man in Mysore.
If the cost of visits of all these leaders for discussions pre-Dasara and post-Dasara were added up, a couple of ring roads and another fresh rail line between Bangalore and Mysore could have easily been built!
When will leaders of Karnataka come together and work for projects which benefit the people of the State?