From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Feb 12: Without directly naming any of the statutory Constitutional bodies, the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government made BJP-appointed Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot to declare that all action and activities must be in accordance with the Constitution and also protect it so that Constitutional should not be weakened or misused for any reason.
In his address to the joint session of the State legislature, the Governor said: “For us the Constitution is the national religion. We have to take a firm pledge that if we protect the Constitution, the Constitution will protect us.’’
The Congress Government came to power with new dreams through the support, recognition and trust of the people in the elections is working with unison in both speech and action. The government has ushered in a new culture when there is a political climate of undermining promises without giving value to what is said. It has done what it has said, without compromising on the love, trust and hopes of the people. It has brought a wind of change in the lives of the people by launching a new era of happiness, peace and contentment, he said.
In today's context of increasing economic inequality in the country, Karnataka is leading economically by following the path of development, by reducing economic inequality. Development not only means economic development but also includes sustainable development and social harmony. With these factors the government has been following the ‘Karnataka Model’ from the moment it came to power. The aim is to further strengthen this model and make Karnataka state unique in the entire country.
Gehlot said the five guarantee schemes have provided solace to the people suffering from growing economic inequality. The huge number of applications for the programs is proof of how much these programs were needed by the economically disadvantaged. Considering adequate implementation of these programs as a priority, the government is making a well-equipped system for this.
However, the government is aware that these guarantees are not enough for the lives of the people who remain financially weak due to economic inequality. Development where wealth is concentrated in a few individuals cannot be called development. Therefore, economic development is taken up in such a way that the disadvantaged masses will be included in the overall economic development and the fruits of economic development will naturally be available to all. Guarantee schemes are just a beginning in this regard.
Cong Govt is Futuristic
The governor claimed that the guarantee schemes have helped more than 1.2 crore families to come out of the poverty line and raise the middle class status. It is a global record that more than 5 crore people of the State will be promoted to middle class status. This government is ‘futuristic’.
All projects are aimed at bringing contentment and peace to all the people of this State in the future. Steps are taken to create new aspirations in agriculture, industry and service sectors which are the backbone of the economy and to increase employment opportunities and provide life security.
Declaring that new innovations in technology are occupying all aspects of people's lives and creating new opportunities, the Governor announced that that a new education policy to equip our youth to embrace these opportunities and inculcate entrepreneurship is being devised.
The State Education Policy of Karnataka will open up new possibilities of providing education that will meet the needs of present and future with the educational progress that the State has already achieved. The Government has realized the necessity of correcting the deficiencies in the field of education and restructuring it according to the needs of the times. The State Education Policy will show a new direction for the country in this regard, he said.
The Governor said the guarantee schemes are reaching all kinds of eligible people in the State directly without the interference of any middlemen irrespective of one’s caste, region and religion. Universal Basic Income is being literally implemented by my Government without saying it in words, which has given a level of peace to the people.
Rs 77,000 cr investment in 8 months
The money in the hands of the people from the guarantee schemes has given a new boost to the economy. On one hand, domestic and foreign investment is flowing into the State in a big way. In these 8 months investment of more than Rs. 77,000 crore has come into the State.
Economic activities are picking up due to new accumulation of purchasing power among the people due to guarantee schemes. Tax collection is increasing. Till the end of January, the rate of growth in GST collection stands first in the country.
“A new era of development has begun here since the last 8 months. My Government is committed to take it even higher. The guarantee schemes launched by my Government are a model for the country. Other Governments are competing to adopt these schemes. The government is ready to implement more pro-people schemes.
However, not enough resources are available from various sources. Karnataka ranks second among the states that collects highest tax in the country. But it is ranked tenth in terms of receipt of tax share.
Touching on the drought situation in the country, the Governor said a large part of the State is facing severe drought conditions. Karnataka has declared drought in 223 taluks out of 240 taluks during Kharif 2023, out of which 196 taluks are categorized as severely drought affected. The State Government has released Rs.324 crore to 31 districts for immediate drought relief measures like availability of drinking water and fodder.
The State Government has submitted memorandums related to Kharif Drought Relief to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India seeking financial assistance of Rs.18171.44 crore from NDRF for drought relief measures in drought affected taluks. But no amount has been released.
Kannada is matter of Life and Death
Reiterating that survival and growth of Kannada language as a matter of life and death for the government, the Governor said any attack on our language and culture will be tolerated.
The government is committed to preserve and develop our mother tongue and the Karnataka culture advocated by Basavanna, Kuvempu etc. at any cost. ‘Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Act-2022’ is framed for the holistic development of Kannada language and it will be implemented shortly. A law making 60% of the name plates should be in Kannada will be made and implemented.
Plans to provide tap water connection to all households in rural areas by 2024 through Jal Jeevan Mission for drinking water supply in rural areas of the state will be completed. Construction of tunnel road is intended to reduce the traffic congestion in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike area. Accordingly, a feasibility report is being prepared.
The Bengaluru Metro Phase-2, Reach-5 New Line, from Ragigudda to Central Silk board over a length of 19.15 km, out of which 3.3 km length in 16 stations will be constructed in double decker model. Presently, 98% progress is achieved and programmed to commission by July 2024.
Bengaluru Metro Rail Project Phase-2A from Central Silk Board to Krishnarajpur 19.75 kms and Phase-2B Krishnarajapur to Kempegowda International Airport works are in progress and planned to be completed by June-2026. Cauvery Water Supply Phase-5, consisting of supply of 775 MLD additional drinking water to 110 village areas included in the BBMP, is intended to be commissioned in March 2024.
To facilitate regional rapid transit and connectivity in Karnataka State, operations of Shimoga Airport has commenced. Vijayapur Airport will be completed and operational in 2024. Hassan and Raichur airport construction works will be completed within the stipulated time.
The Governor said announcing that Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project has been taken up under Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project in collaboration with Government of Karnataka and Railway Departments. Civil works of Baiyappanahalli-Chikkabanavara (25 km) corridor in this project are in progress. The tender for civil works of Heilalige – Rajanukunte (46.24 km) corridor has been finalized and the work will begin soon.