Carved out of Mysuru: 25 years after its formation, Chamarajangar remains backward district

Published on Aug 25, 2022 12:20 AM IST

JH Patel, the then chief minister, carved out the district on August 15, 1997 which was among the seven newly created districts at the time.

Twenty-five years after Chamarajanagar district was carved out of Mysuru (then Mysore), the district is still counted among the most backward in Karnataka as few things have changed despite the growth seen by some of its neighbouring districts in the state. (HT)
Twenty-five years after Chamarajanagar district was carved out of Mysuru (then Mysore), the district is still counted among the most backward in Karnataka as few things have changed despite the growth seen by some of its neighbouring districts in the state. (HT)
ByCoovercolly Indresh, Chamarajanagara

Twenty-five years after Chamarajanagar district was carved out of Mysuru (then Mysore), the district is still counted among the most backward in Karnataka as few things have changed despite the growth seen by some of its neighbouring districts in the state.

JH Patel, the then chief minister, carved out the district on August 15, 1997 which was among the seven newly created districts at the time.

The agitation for a separate district had begun nearly two decades before 1997 as a district agitation committee was formed which was supported by then minister B Rachaiah, MLAs Benki Mahadevu, Vatal Nagaraj, S Putta Swamy and several others.

But their struggles have appeared not to bear fruit as the district remains one of the most backward areas in the state.

“Politicians, especially those who hold the post of chief minister, are hesitating to come to the district headquarters because of blind belief that they lose power if they visit Chamarajanagar. This attitude hinders overall development of the district,” Lakshmi Narasimha, a progressive writer based in the region, told HT.

Chamarajanagar has a per capita of 169,553 and is considered a middle-district in terms of earnings in 2019-20 as against the state average of Karnataka state per capita 244,381, according to the latest economic survey.

The district is ranked 22 out of 30 districts in the human development index as of 2012, up just three places from 2001. The district has identified 9,035 (6-14 years) drop out children in the state with most of such children based in districts of Vijayapura, Bidar, Yadgir, Chamarajanagar and a few others.

Among all the districts, the proportion of agricultural labourers has varied between 2.31% in Bengaluru district and 44.49% in Chamarajanagar district. It has seen good implementation of expanding bank reach and implementation of some national schemes related to sanitation and housing, data shows.

Students from this district travel to Mysuru for education, and the government has not been able to attract investments to this region or create jobs.

“Successive governments, since more than two decades, have failed to promote industries, develop industrial areas, generate jobs, promote and market locally produced goods like coconut, turmeric, vegetables, or give a fillip to granite mining. Students still travel to Mysuru for higher education. Government still treats Chamarajanaggar as a jinxed backward town,” said A Jayasimha, president of Chamarajanagar small scale industries association.

“Even though the district has a good forest cover, the government has failed to promote ecotourism. The celebration should find solutions to the challenges the district is facing today,” said Jayasimha.

The state government has set up a 1,520-acre industrial park in this district to boost industrial activities and employment. In 2014, the government bought the land for park at 20 lakh for each acre at Badanaguppe and Kellamballi villages and then chief minister Siddaramaiah had even organised a road show in Coimbatore to attract industrialists from Tamil Nadu to invest in the district.

Despite the copious amounts of water from river Kabini, industrialists have largely remained closer to Bengaluru and not even half of this industrial area has been utilised.

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