By Alok S, Pics by JP, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: Coastal Development Authority (CDA) chairman B Nagaraj Shetty, speaking to reporters at a media meet at the press club here on Thursday June 28, said that during the tenure of B S Yeddyurappa as the chief minister in 2010-11, an order had been passed to sanction a total of Rs 15 crore for the construction of about 430 footbridges comprehensively in districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.
In the year 2011-12, a reminder was issued by CDA to implement this sanction. The current Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda has ordered the finance department to immediately release funds. Following this order the state government has released the first installment of Rs five crore. The panchayat and rural development department has released Rs 3 crore to the DK disrict and Rs 2 crore to the Udupi district.
The CDA had requested the CM for funds to the tune of Rs 10 crore to be released for the construction of the rest of the footbridges in DK and Udupi. Soon after the release of these, Rs 5 crore will also be released for the Uttara Kannada district. In all, 142 footbridges in five taluks and eight assembly constituencies ofDK district and 45 footbridges in six assembly constituencies in the Udupi district have been identified. The construction of these bridges has been entrusted to zilla panchayats. The construction is expected to be completed in six months.
Shetty said, "We personally went and saw the problems faced by people. If it rains heavily the children are unable to go to schools as they cannot walk in the deep water. We have also seen old women crossing rivulets during strong currents, which situation is quite terrible."
He also mentioned about further projects taken up by the CDA. He said that about 8 new fish markets would be opened in the DK district. Also a special road from Manipal to the Mangalore airport will be constructed. The Naxal-affected areas of Karkala and Kudremukh had been brought under a rehabilitation scheme. Under this scheme, the inhabitants of these areas would be relocated. A Rs 100-crore project is under consideration for rehabilitation, he said.