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Belagavi: The Neglected Giant

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By uday

Belagavi, the fourth-largest city in Karnataka, has persistently been overlooked in the state’s developmental agenda. Despite its economic prowess and strategic significance, successive governments have repeatedly sidelined Belagavi, favoring other regions for major infrastructural and industrial projects. This persistent neglect has hindered the city’s potential, leaving it grappling with unfulfilled promises and missed opportunities.

Economic and Agricultural Hub

Belagavi is a vital economic engine for Karnataka. With a GDP of INR 159.65 billion, it stands as the second-largest exporter in the state. The district’s robust agricultural sector, which dedicates 48% of its land to cultivation, produces significant quantities of pulses, cereals, fruits, and vegetables, including key staples like onions, tomatoes, and potatoes. Additionally, the region’s prominence in Foundry, Aerospace precision engineering and manufacturing, highlighted by India’s first notified SEZ center in this domain, underscores its industrial potential.

Despite these strengths, Belagavi’s economic contributions have not translated into equitable development benefits. The city houses 310 registered startups, a figure dwarfed by Bengaluru’s 16,652. This stark disparity reveals a systemic bias in the allocation of resources and support for entrepreneurial growth.

Belagavi Belagavi letters

Healthcare and Education: Untapped Potential

Belagavi boasts impressive healthcare infrastructure, with 10 major hospitals, 344 private nursing homes, 139 primary health centers, and 14 community health centers. Its educational landscape is equally commendable, featuring four universities, 180 general degree colleges, two medical colleges, 18 polytechnic colleges, and 12 engineering colleges. Despite these assets, the city has lost several critical institutions and projects to other regions.

What Belagavi lost
the relocation of the High Court bench, an IIT, the Lalit Kala Academy, the Belagavi Division Education Office, the Nandi Printing Press, a sanctioned food park, and the Junior Police Officer Training Centre. Each of these moves has deprived Belagavi of significant developmental boosts, reinforcing the perception of systematic neglect.

Industrial Stagnation

Belagavi’s industrial sector, particularly its small-scale industries (SSI) and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), is the largest in the state. However, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) office is located in Hubballi, not Belagavi. Similarly, while the Ghataprabha and Mallaprabha dams are situated in Belagavi, the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) central office is in Dharwad. These decisions have further stifled the city’s industrial growth, as no new industrial areas have been established in Belagavi in the past two decades.

The Railways announced the extension of the Bengaluru-Dharwad Vande Bharat Express to Belagavi and even conducted a successful trial run. However, six months later, the extension has yet to be implemented.

Political Apathy

The symbolic construction of the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi, intended to decentralize governance and bring development to the region, has done little to change the city’s fortunes. As MLA Abhay Patil of Belagavi South poignantly remarked, “Only building the Suvarna Soudha at Belagavi is not development.” The winter sessions held here attract minimal attention and rarely address the District’s pressing issues.

The Road Ahead: Potential and Promise

While Belagavi’s past is marred by neglect, its future need not be. The city’s potential remains vast, anchored in its economic, agricultural, healthcare, and educational strengths. To harness this potential, a concerted effort is required, encompassing infrastructure development, industrial growth, and educational advancement. Public-private partnerships, proactive leadership, and long-term planning are essential to transforming Belagavi into a key center in Karnataka.

Belagavi’s story serves as a cautionary tale of unrealized potential. Yet, by acknowledging these missed opportunities and committing to a focused developmental agenda, the city can write a new chapter of growth and prosperity. The dedication and hard work of its citizens have kept Belagavi on the global map in sectors like IT, foundry, and agriculture. With the right support and vision, Belagavi can finally achieve the recognition and development it has long deserved.

The neglect of Belagavi is not merely a failure of past administrations but a call to action for current and future leaders. The city deserves more than symbolic gestures; it requires tangible investments and strategic initiatives that reflect its true potential. By addressing these historical oversights and fostering a spirit of inclusive development, Karnataka can ensure that Belagavi emerges as a dynamic and integral part of its growth story.

10 thoughts on “Belagavi: The Neglected Giant”

  1. Wake up guys!!! Karnataka is only Bangalore & Mysore, they care shit about North Karnataka, look at Maharashtra apart from Mumbai & Pune…Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad & Kolhapur are major industrial hubs… Maharashtra provides equal growth of each regions & cities…. Karnataka can’t think outside Bangalore & Mysore region

  2. Yes belgavi is most neglected city .
    Instead of being a smart city it’s become garbage city . It has least cleanliness. There are no gutters. Gutters are closed the the municipal people . No drainage, system . Belagavi was ones called as chota Mahabaleshwar. It was known for it’s nature beauty, serenity, now it’s temperature has reached 40 degree.
    Rainfall in Belagavi has tremendously reduced because the forest areas are being wipped off .
    I pray for my belgavi city.

  3. Belagavi posting is treated as a vacation posting by the civil servants who come here for short statutory stints on the way up their personal career ladder. Utter neglect of public needs and only wooing of Politicians is rampant in all Government offices. Add to that a timid and indifferent population and you have the recipe for disaster. So much for a smart City nomination almost a decade ago. We are still languishing at the start line.

  4. Unfortunately, the facts described in the article are TRUE. Any ruling party never thought beyond Hubli for Devlopment. I remember, we Belgaumites made record braking human chain for IIT demand & Hubli got it smoothly,same case for High Court bench….it is continuing because our Belgavi Leaders are NOT that much Agresive like Hubli leaders, nor we citizens Pressurize them. We have faught under various forums but only got sweet promises which were never fulfilled. Even Belgaum is less discussed in Belgavi assembly .Sessions .

  5. Its very simple. Why Hubli Dharwad are more developed…..the simple reason being, the MP their is very close to PM.

    It also shows how attentive (?) are and were our local representatives.

    So sad

  6. Instead of having major education institution’s hospitals etc fertile land good climate..industrial sectors has not been developed…it was vast scope for new project

  7. It’s the truth since many decades & institution after institution that was denied, stolen, hijacked or diverted …. to name it, fact remains, we Belgaumites never ever came forward to muster strongly either to ask for or protest when denied.

    The associations n forums …… industrial n educational…… are scattered, short visioned & lack common purpose n collaborative approach.

    The aspiring youth flights to Pune, Mumbai,Chennai,Gujrat, Bangalore etc leaving the city Belgaum it’s old title Pensioner’s Town…..

    In spite of harnessing all natural & infrastructure development prowess
    even after 75 years of independence, Belgaum couldn’t reach its potential.

    Yojakah Tatra Durlabhaha … So sad….

  8. Our beloved city and district, despite contributing immensely in terms of manpower, skills, education, agriculture, and industry, continues to face neglect and disregard. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that political nominees make the upliftment of Belgaum their foremost priority. Without this larger commitment from our elected leaders, any debate on this issue remains futile. We all cherish our city deeply, yet we suffer from a profound indifference to its current poor state. True change will only come through the awakening and unification of the people for this singular purpose. Love you, mother Belgaum/Belgavi.


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