Udupi, Nov 13, 2014: Speaking at the district-level vigilance committee meeting, Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Shobha Karandlaje has directed the officials to forward a proposal aiding the construction of tunnels in place of a road at Agumbe ghat stretch of 3 kms, during the upgradation of road connecting Malpe and Agumbe, where the national highway work is being taken up.
MP Shobha said that the proposed tunnel would cost an additional Rs 60 crore approximately in contrast to the amount spent on construction of road. However, it would be feasible in terms of conserving the invaluable natural resources in and around Agumbe. She stressed that Agumbe must be saved. The PWD executive engineer said that the length of the stretch is 55.20 km and was declared as national highway on September 18, 2014.
He said minor repair works are taken up and DPR for the upgradation of the stretch to the level of national highway is being worked out. The land is available for the 3 - 4 km width until the fifth and sixth curve of Agumbe. The remaining space is narrow, he said.
Deputy Commissioner Dr R Vishal said that the rules are not formed for new Land Acquisition Act, even after nine months following the formulation of Act. There are 126 objections and he demanded that C& R rules should be relaxed. However, was keen on proposing the tunnel instead of the road, which accounts to massive destruction of the flora and fauna in Agumbe. The Executive Engineer said that Rs 34 crore released under Central Road Funds is used for constructing roads with a total length of 84 kilometers in the district. Another 43 crore is released under CRF to build bridge at Kuradi. The MP said that a proposal is submitted to the Central government for developing 335.8 km stretch in the district.
The MP was displeased over the irregularities taking place in the distribution of compensation package to the farmers who lost their arecanut crop for rot diseases. The Horticulture deputy director said that the department had recommended the compensation package for 9,550 farmers, of which the revenue department has offered the compensation package to 8,622 farmers. He said there are allegations that many farmers in one family have received the compensation package and also they have received more amount as against the announced compensation package of Rs 12,000 per hectare.
Karandlaje was irked by ineffective measures taken up by agriculture department to encourage drip irrigation. The Agriculture Department joint director said that the department has recorded 94 per cent success in terms of utilising various schemes sponsored by the government except for the meager achievement under National Mission on Micro Irrigation.
An official elaborated over various measures taken up to overcome the sea-erosion menace, said that the DPR is done for the permanent sea wall construction built at the cost of Rs 9.11 crore. Ullal in Dakshina Kannada is taken up as the pilot project. The technology incorporates the hard and soft solution to the problem. He said a proposal at the cost of Rs 702 lakh to take up temporary measures is sent to the deputy commissioner for the approval. He said the third phase of port in Malpe is nearing completion.
DHO Dr Ramachndra Bairy said that as many as 563 ASHAs are working in the district. Nearly 280 would be trained shortly and 152 dropped out. The ASHAs are recruited in the proportionate of 1:1000 populations.
The Udupi DC said that the user charges should be enhanced for the good maintenance of the district government hospital. Currently, the hospital has the revenue up to Rs four lakh. This amount is insufficient to run the hospital by offering better facilities. At least Rs 8-10 lakh is needed to run the hospital in better condition. The DHO said that there are 11 ambulances in the district. He said there is no dearth of anti snake venom and anti rabies vaccination. As many as 24 snakebite cases were reported in the district, of which 4 have died. While there were 6,335 rabies cases reported, of which two have died. The infant mortality rate is 7:1000 live births in the district, while the maternal mortality rate is 37:100000 live births in the district. He said that 14 per cent of six lakh in the district are diabetic, who were screened for the chronic disease. As many as 15000 institutional deliveries take place There are 59 PHCs and six CHCs in this area.