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The audacity of Belagavi’s Dreams

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By uday

First published: June 2012
With very little open spaces available, it was imperative that the city expanded on its outskirts. From Ganeshpur, Nanawadi, Krishi colony, Peeranwadi, the city has spread its tentacles far and wide. But where are the amenities required to sustain such an expansion?

Many residential areas still lack basic infrastructure like drainage, drinking water supply, waste disposal and roads. The people of Belagavi are known to be extremely tolerant towards the lax attitude of the political leaders whose apathy towards the development of the city, has, over the years, resulted in Belagavi becoming a massive village.

All rhetoric of it being a booming metro city falls flat with the lack of basic infrastructure. If demolishing habitats and widening roads is the limit for the politician’s idea of development, then we are still in the primitive stage. Can we, as citizens of a beautiful and developing city, not expect certain amenities that will boost development even further?

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Roads– Most of us have had a hell-of-a-ride on the stretch Dharmveer Sambaji Circle. All cosmetic decoration done for the VKS disappeared when various departments dug out the roads with a vengeance and forgot to make amends for the same. Sometimes we feel the old narrow road was better. This road links half of the city to the Business District, and has the ill-fate of being the worst one in the city. Roads in other parts of the city also have a similar fate.

Railway gates– For years,Belagavi has suffered patiently waiting at railway gates and wasted lakhs of productive man hours just practicing being cool in times of urgency. Why cant the people get together and agitate for this one basic and urgent need- an overbridge at the First gate and Old PB Road ? Is it too much of an expectation? Not at all considering that it will not only save petrol, time and energy, it will also streamline traffic by avoiding jams. Thankfully one RoB is under construction at Kapileshwar but only God will tell the fate of the citizens on the sides of the bridge.

 Water– we have access to water only 4 months of the year or even less. Yes, since the supply is once in three days. This has been the case for the past many years. Every year, there is talk of desilting Rakaskop reservoir, but to no avail. The reservoir fills up within days and empties equally fast since it has become extremely shallow. Why cant the desilting be taken up in high summer while the city is fed through the Hidkal waters?

City Transport– It is so rudimentary, that sometimes we forget to remember that it even exists. Bad and narrow roads have resulted in the city bus service to become redundant. Ask ten people the number of their bus route and 7 of them won’t be able to tell for they have never accessed it of late. Owning a bike is far better than waiting long hours at far away bus stops. Had there been proper city transport service, the number of private vehicles would come down drastically. And then the ever troubling parking problem could have been handled efficiently.

Public Toilets– Conspicuous by their absence, public toilets are something Belagavi must feel ashamed of. The ones that are still there, are more pathetic stinking relics than functional.

 Auditorium– The Kumar Gandharva Rang Mandir would have been one ideal one, if only it would be centrally located or had regular bus service. Kannada Sahitya Bhavan serves more as an exhibition center and Kala Mandir has all but lost its sheen with even ambulances, Dust bins parked inside. Where are smaller halls, auditorium and theatres that can be utilized by deserving artistes?
And when will Belagavi get a museum?kalamandir

Waste disposal– The corporation banished the street-side trash bins with the intention that waste would be picked up from source. But neither has worked and the city roads are now flaunting the trash in the open ! One has to keep a tab on when the ‘Bell-cart’ arrives ( or whether it will…). In case it doesn’t, the citizens have to search for the nearest bin to dispose everyday waste. Have a look at Mahatma Phule Road, Kacheri Galli ( opp. Shakambari Temple), Market Yard, etc. where huge piles of all kinds of waste is dumped on the road and not picked up. In such a scenario, it’s a distant dream that biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste would be separately disposed.

Traffic management– the less said the better. Every few years, a new set of traffic lights are proudly erected and then are just forgotten within days. Try locating the rusting pillars at Basveshwar Circle (Goaves), at Bank of India Corner (Shahapur) or even opp. Globe theatre! A new technique adopted by the Belagavi police is placing barricades in a haphazard way on major streets after 9 p.m. One fails to comprehend what purpose it serves except that vehicles dangerously meander through them inviting accidents.DSC00545

Better connectivity to Pune- Bangalore- Mumbai- Goa-Belagavi folks have always failed to get proper railway facility to these places! The remotest place in Bengal or Bihar is well connected to the country, but not a bustling city like Belagavi which has everyday business with these cities. A lone Chennamma express and the YPR Miraj express is not enough to connect us with the state capital. And there are no trains of convenient times to mention that can link us with Pune and Mumbai.

All this leads us to keep asking the question ‘WHY’? Why not… Is it too much to expect from a government that flourishes on taxpayers’ money?
Do we need to take up these causes the way Anna Hazare did or reel under these pitiable conditions perpetually? If we have the audacity of hope to dream big, we must also have the guile to demand highways for our dreams.


17 thoughts on “The audacity of Belagavi’s Dreams”

  1. Nice. Good to read through and very pleased to notice how you've broken down the various issues…
    Lets see this carried forward to the masses. It will be interesting to notice change driven by "awareness".

  2. Nice one but already uday has covered these issue in his earlier post. its always happens that industries and development activities goes first to Hubli where as belgaum is sidelined even though it is well known to be junction point for mumbai pune goa and bangalore.

    Transport is much better in belgaum compare to Pune but the hickup is with bad roads

    Another point I would like to highlight is when there is not even basic infrastruction and facilities the land rates are as high as in pune or bangalore which is rediculous.

  3. Concise and to the point. You have covered the most basic problems faced by the people of Belgaum. The recent spate of agitations / morchas / rallies / andolans / fasts, conducted all over the city were nothing but a farce barring a few. Most of the so called rallies were college students creating havoc on the streets or local politicians or groups looking for their two minutes of fame.
    I do agree with the premise that when our politicians are sitting doing nothing, we should make it known that we do not approve, but it is u who are to blame in the first place. Exercising your right to vote, and voting for the right candidates is more the need of the hour, than cribbing about inefficient or corrupt politicos.
    Refraining from bribing, or taking bribes at the most basic level is more needed. Most people are happy to shell out 20 Rs. to the traffic cop, rather than the Rs. 100 fine with the challan and court date.
    Use the RTI well and see how one person can change the way things work.

    Some of the points raised here are truly the most basic of needs.
    Roads : I remember reading some months ago, that Rs.2000 Cr. was sanctioned for the repair and rebuilding of roads in Belgaum. I really wonder, is so much money not enough to build decently motorable roads? I also remember reading that some villagers built a check dam on their own, because their local politico kept making hollow promises. What the Govt. contractor had planned for 40lacs, the villagers completed in 10-15 lacs. Does it mean we should all start doing the governments work? NO!!
    And that is precisely what Anna Hazare is fighting for. He himself has setup Ralegaon Siddhi. A village that was one of the worst drought hit villages in India is now a model village, thriving with development.
    A model government, shuld tackle the root cause of all problems, and not resort to name calling and trying to finds chinks in Anna's armor (like they are questioning how he spent 2.5 lakhs on a b'day in some year in the 90's)
    Railway Gates : These gates are the biggest (or the narrowest) bottlenecks in traffic flow i Belgaum. Over the years,the vehicular traffic in Belgaum has grown manifold, but the roads and other infrastructure hasn't been upgraded proportionately. Overbridge aside, even another parallel road one way a few feet apart with a solid embankment in between will solve the problem.
    Water : Being close to the Western Ghats, there is ample rain inthe season. Rain water harvesting will only help us in utilizing the wasted water.
    City Transport: The root cause of this problem lies not in the bad roads alone. Even when the roads are in good condition, the buses plying aren't regulated properly. For ex: According to the old us timetable put up at CBT local stand, there is a bus plying to Angol every 15-20 minutes. In reality, All the buses leave together after 45 minutes with a gap of 5 minutes each. The bus stops are not well maintained and nor do the buses stop at the bus stops.
    Bottom line : a well managed bus system will do wonders towards commuters' life problems.
    Auditorium : Belgaum is a city of artists and it is a pity that they do not have the means to display and promulgate all that talent. FOr ex: Kala academy located in Panaji, Goa, is a wonderful place, with multiple auditoriums and studios. The resources are available, they just need to be channelized properly.
    Waste Disposal : This is one department where charity must begin at home. People should refrain from throwing garbage in the neighboring compound or "galli". Why not privatize the entire thing. I do believe companies have started doing this in metros.
    Traffic Management : Where do I begin!!!! First of all a long standing rant of mine; STOP GIVING BIKES TO KIDS (This is directed towards parents) stop giving bikes to school kids. I remember when we used to ride cycles to school. Nowadays the kids all ride motoscooters or bikes. AND CATCH THE LITTLE SCOUNDRELS AND THROW THEM IN JAIL FOR A NIGHT.(Directed towards the cops)
    Lane discipline must be taught to every new licensee. people cut lanes like its no ones business. Overtaking from the left is second nature, if not first. We should follow the points system on licenses. deduct points every time an infringement is recorded. cancel licenses on repeated offences.

    Better connectivity : We need trains to metros or all the larger cities nearby. case in point Bus companies hiking rates on occasions. For eg: A bus ticket to Bengaluru on 27th August, for a single lower berth, cost me Rs. 500.
    The same berth on 29th august cost me Rs. 530, and on Tuesday the rates are Rs. 1000plus. If there were ample number of trains and/ or govt. buses commuters will have better choice, and the monopoly will be dissolved.

    Anna Hazare is not the only answer. We need to stand up alright,but our country as a whole is accustomed to being followers or the led, never the leaders that we keep talking about.
    Its very easy to write/talk about all this, but implementation is not going to be a piece of the proverbial cake. until and unless we don't start addressing root causes and take action on our part,

  4. What i don’t understood is in fact how you’re no longer really much more smartly-appreciated than you may be now. You are very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably in relation to this topic, produced me individually imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated except it?s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always deal with it up!

  5. Worst government and the worst contractor. Why don’t They understand even their own families sometimes have to pass through the same ditches.

  6. Our Politicians are ready to fight for the border dispute only for their popularity,,but i don’t think their minds are ready for the development of the city. Who will see all these things,,,this is only a part of “Non-development of Belgaum city”,,,there are much more issues related to the development of BELGAUM city.
    Our MP Suresh Angadi is quiet busy in developing his own personal things like property, Lands, colleges but unable to develop his own CITY. Being MP for 3 times and not at all concentrating on these issues shows his inability of developing our city. Irrespective of any Political party,,we the people of Belgaum need development of our city not only by words but also by action. I remember during my childhood our relatives from KOLHAPUR used to visit our BELGAUM city for purchase of many things as our city was a hub during those days. But today am stunned by glancing at KOLHAPUR city where it has reached,,the developments there are quiet amazing. But unfortunate our Belgaum city is the same as it was previous. In the name of “Border Dispute” the political people are fooling the citizens of BELGAUM city since many years. If they would have thought seriously anything regarding the development of our city then till now definitely our city would had been the top one. They have neither developed our city nor have succeeded in removing the enmity among people who reside here and are both kannada & Marathi people. Instead they have poured OIL on burning issues and have created enmity among ourselves. I bet if the Political people whom we have elected, concentrate on the development of our Belgaum city,,then definitely all the people will look their work practically and feel proud of our city. And also the enmity among people irrespective of Cast & Region will be removed and all together will live in harmony without any problems. But if the political people play games like the Britishers and follow the principal “Divide & Rule”, then the day will not be far when the same people who have elected them will kick them off.

  7. बेलगौम के विकास का सपना केवल हम आप देखते है लेकिन हमारे रजन्यतिक “महा पुरुष “ तो हर काम मे अपना वोट बैंक देखते रहते है।
    इनहि पथ्ररो पर अगर आ सको तो आवो
    मेरे घर के रास्ते पर कोई कहकशा नहीं है।

  8. Excellent Swateeji. Belgaum city lacks basic needs n infrastructures as mentioned by u. The state govt feels useless to develope the city for linguistic border disputed place. Belgaum ke halat aisi hai jaise ki “kutta na ghaas khata hai na hi gaay ko ghaas khane deta hai”

  9. After spending about 7 years in Abroad (US, Gulf, Malaysia and Singapore) , i’ve realized that the basic problem with India is Attitude of people.

    Every person in India (including belgaum) is divided on the basis of Religion, Caste and Colour). The government/ politicians do not approve any project/investment until they are given shares/percentage or specific amount of bribe.

    People defecate in open. People lecture others but refuse to follow rules and law themselves.

  10. I am sure that now the session has started the roads the politicians travel are well maintained as they consider themselves God .They are least bothered how the common citizen travels they should be taken on a road trip on all the bad roads of Belgaum to see how people suffer travelling on such roads, if potholes are not enough they have put up back breaking humps all over Belgaum We have not seen who our MP is after the election I think our honorable PM had asked every MP and MLA to adopt a place and develop it but I think it has fallen on deaf ears.When will we see Belgaum develop.

  11. Mr.Anvith nicely covered all the problems belgaum is facing and as you said the responsibility lies with each one of us. Hope this message reaches the Govt officials and something really is implemented.

  12. I want to highlight another issue.
    After a long waiting the bauxite road has been developed to 4-lane road. BUT, was that necessary?? Okay, let us consider it is necessary, as it starts from Vaibhav nagar and ends at Hindalga road. Actually, double Lane road was much sufficient with good quality road. And huge amount has been invested in vain and the pockets of the politicians/authorities are filled.
    Number of good trees were chopped to make that road. Still going on.. No replantation!!!!
    The height of the road has been raised to about 10 feet creating hurdles for the people living to the downside.!! It’s nearly 40 degrees while climbing the road. So much of soil/mud has been deposited. Shit… Waste of soil/mud. From where are bringing so much of mud..that area has become a crater i guess. That much height was not at all necessay. They could have dug and made a nice base with the existing height. Are they solving problems or creating problems. I don’t understand.
    Not even one forth part of the work is not complete. Only from azam nagar to Vaibhav nagar church the work is hardly finished.
    I don’t know why there’s a small gap between the roads and the footpath.??
    Regarding the quality, next rainy season we will find beautiful potholes; and we people try to avoid these kind of ditches and bang somewhere else. anyhow it has already started..
    Street lights- first of all we have very nice street lights those were demolished and now no reinstallation!!
    What a development??
    I have think just to make 1 km road they have spent more than 5 crores.. Just imagine how much money has been/will be looted to complete the project that too with so many complaints.. This is just a small part of project.. Imagine whole Belagavi city.

  13. Outer Ring Road is the most needed thing of the city. Atleast the part connecting Peeranwadi and Halga. This reduce the heavy traffic. Less congestion and roads will last long. Self sufficient Planned townships outskirts of Belgaum is another need.


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