INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS -Hon’ble Chief Minister’s Speech

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

Hon’ble Chief Minister’s Speech

15-08-2009 / 09.00 AM /  Parade Ground, Bangalore

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My Dear fellow citizens,

I am extremely happy to extend my heartfelt and cordial greetings and good wishes to all of you on the occasion of 63rd Independence Day celebrations.

Our motherland, Bharath, has earned freedom due to the relentless struggle and immense sacrifices of innumerable freedom fighters.  It is our bounden duty to remember and pay homage to all the valiant men and women who took part in this unparalleled saga of freedom struggle.

I am privileged to get the honour of addressing the people of Karnataka as the Chief Minister of the state for the 2nd year in succession.  In my address during the Independence Day celebrations from the same platform as the Chief Minister last year, I had unveiled a blueprint for the comprehensive development of the State.  I had laid down the priorities of my Government.  I am now pleased to present a brief picture of the progress in the State during the last one year.

FREEDOM IS A BIRTH-RIGHT

Freedom is a birth-right of all individuals.  Nobody can tolerate dependence on others or their exploitation.

“Hanginaramaneginta  ingadada  gudi  lesu.

Jagadi  swaatantryave lesu’’

These lines from the Kannada’s great poet-saint Sarvajna are most meaningful.

On this day of National celebration, it is most appropriate that we recall the immortal words of Sarvajna.  We must commit ourselves to preserving the freedom won at enormous cost.

SALUTE TO KARGIL MARTYRS

We have paid homage recently to the martyrs of Kargil war, on the occasion of its decennial celebrations on July 26.

July 26 is the day our valiant soldiers repulsed the incursion and attacks by Pakistan to protect our country’s borders at Kargil.

It is a matter of great pride for us that among the 533 Indian soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Kargil war, as many as 16 are from Karnataka.

On this August occasion, a honorary grant of Rs.5 lakh each, is being paid to the bereaved families of the martyrs in their respective districts on behalf of the Government of Karnataka.

A large number of soldiers and officers, who sustained grievous injuries in Kargil war, have now recovered.  As an expression of our gratitude and to assist in their welfare, the Government is offering a monetary assistance of Rs.1 lakh each to those soldiers.

Independence Day is the most appropriate occasion for us to pledge ourselves to pay homage to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Kargil war and offer assistance to the injured soldiers.

WAR MEMORIAL

Our Government is building a War Memorial in Bangalore to commemorate the memory and in honour of Indian soldiers who had died in the World Wars and various other wars so far.  Karnataka is the first State to take such a step. This is a token of our state’s appreciation and gratitude to the soldiers.

DEDICATION OF “ARIHANT” TO THE NATION

Our Defence scientists and experts have been constantly engaged in research and innovations to assist the soldiers working for protecting the nation.  The development of the nuclear sub-marine Arihant and its dedication to the nation recently is the result of such efforts.  With this, India has joined the club of six super power nations.  This is a matter of great pride for all of us.

JAI JAWAN – JAI KISAN – JAI VIJNAN

Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sashtri had coined the slogan, “Jai Jawan–Jai Kisan,’’ in honour of the soldiers fighting for protecting the nation and the farmers feeding the people.  The former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpaee had coined the slogan, “Jai Vijnan’’ in honour of the scientists engaged in improving the quality of our lives. The services and sacrifices of soldiers, farmers and scientists are exemplary and worthy of emulation.

SALUTE TO FARMERS

We are eternally indebted to the farmers who feed us. Our Government, which always responds to the plight of farmers, has paid special attention to the development of agriculture and irrigation.

As a befitting tribute to the farmers, who are toiling day and night to free us from hunger,  singing of “Raithageethe’’ (song in praise of farmers) has been made compulsory in all official programmes along with the National Anthem and State Anthem from today.  Poet-laureate Kuvempu’s (K.V. Puttappa) “Negilayogi’’  song has been accepted as the “Raithageethe”.

DEVELOPMENT OF FREEDOM MEMORIALS

There are umpteen number of places in the State which remind us of the Freedom Struggle.  These places help us in vividly recalling the valiant struggle waged by our freedom fighters to free the country from foreign rule. Our Government is committed for the development of these places. Along with the development of Kittur Rani Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna’s memorials, steps are being taken to develop Vidurashwatha in Gauribidanur, Shivapura near Maddur, Shimoga district’s Isoor, Mailara  Mahadevappa memorial of Mote Bennur near Haveri, Gangadhar Deshpande’s Hudli in Belgaum district, the place of Hardikar Manjappa’s struggle in Almatti, the legendary Ankola of salt satyagraha fame and many other landmarks in the freedom struggle.  A sum of Rs.10 crore has been earmarked for providing additional infrastructural facilities in these places.

HIKE IN HONORARIUM

The State Government has been providing a monthly honorarium of Rs.3,000 each to the veterans who had participated in the freedom struggle.  The Government has decided to enhance the honorarium to Rs.4,000 per month with effect from August 2009.

I had similarly announced the decision of sanctioning honorarium for those who had taken part in the Goa Liberation Movement.  But owing to unforeseen circumstances, the decision could not be implemented.  The Government has decided to pay a monthly honorarium of Rs.2,000 each to such freedom fighters from August 2009.

DEVELOPMENT OF BHAVAIKYATA KSHETRAS

(INTEGRATION CENTERS)

With a view to nurture and develop harmonious relations between people of different religions and communities, our Government has allocated Rs.10 crore for the development of the integration centers of different religions.

Hindu-Muslim and Hindu-Christian integration centers like Fakirswamy Mutt of Shirahatti in Gadag district, Qwaja Aminuddin Darga of Bijapur,  Kodekal Basavanna and Thinthini Mouneshwar  Kshethras of  Surpur taluk in Gulbarga district, Savalagi Shivalingeshwar Mutt of Gokak taluk in Belgaum district and Murugamalla Darga of Chintamani taluk of Chikkaballapur district will be developed.

ERA OF HARMONY

The unveiling of the statues of Kannada poet-saint Sarvajna and Tamil poet-philosopher Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore had remained a contentious issue for 18 long years. With the unveiling of the statues of these two philosopher savants, who had spread the message of Universal Brotherhood and Equality, a bridge of friendship has been built between the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to usher in a new era of harmony.

While Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Dr. M. Karunanidhi had participated in the unveiling of the statue of Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore on August 9, I had the privilege of participating as the Chief Minister of Karnataka in the unveiling of the statue of Sarvajna in Chennai on August 13.

Writers, litterateurs, artistes, thinkers and eminent people as well the public of both the States and leaders of all political parties have endorsed the decision of the two Governments and extended their support. This historic incident is a shining testimony for the fact that any decision taken with a firm commitment and determination by the leadership in a democratic set up will receive popular support.

ONE YEAR’S ACHIEVEMENT

Comprehensive development of Karnataka is our primary objective.  We are actively working in this direction. The Government is implementing various programmes for economic development and social welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Backward Classes, Minorities, Women, senior citizens and Farmers.

We are providing progress reports for every 100 days, in keeping with our promise made soon after assuming power. Vikas Sankalpa Utsavs were organized in seven different places on the completion of our Government’s one year in office to submit annual performance report to the people.

PROGRESS DESPITE ECONOMIC RECESSION

The pace of economic development has slackened due to resource constraints on account of global economic recession. Employment opportunities have suffered a severe setback.  Consequently, it is imperative for the Central and State Governments to invest heavily on programmes aimed at creating infrastructures and job opportunities. Raising capital through borrowings in view of the constraints on resources has become inevitable.

It is precisely for this reason that the Centre had raised the limit of its fiscal deficit to 6.8% of GDP.  The fiscal deficit limit to the States has been enhanced by the Centre to 4% for the current fiscal year of 2009-10.  Our Government has ensured that the fiscal deficit is well within the limit fixed by the Union Government.  The Government has maintained fiscal discipline in spite of adverse conditions. In addition, steps are being taken to ensure that the pace of development is not hampered.

The Governor of Reserve Bank of India and the Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission have expressed their appreciation of the State’s prudent financial management.

RECORD PLAN SIZE

The annual plan size for the year 2009-10 has been fixed at a record Rs.29,500 crore. The State’s resource mobilization has recorded a growth of 8.6% during the year 2008-09.  Last year the plan expenditure was of the order of Rs.21,819 crore.  This represents an increase of 27% compared with the plan expenditure of Rs.17,227 crore during 2007-08.  The financial experts have praised this 27% increase in plan expenditure despite global recession.

FLOODS – DROUGHT

It is ironical that some districts of Karnataka have suffered from floods while some others are reeling under drought conditions.  Managing the vagaries of monsoon has become a big challenge for the Government.  After a delayed start of the monsoon, the coastal and Malnad districts experienced floods during the first two weeks of July. This has given marginal relief on the power front with the filling of reservoirs.  This is small consolation.

But, 160 people lost their lives in seven districts. Thousands of cattle have died. Over 10,000 houses have been damaged. The total loss due to floods has been estimated at Rs.517 crore. We have submitted a memorandum to the Union Government seeking a relief of Rs.318 crore. On the request of the State Government, Government of India has promised to depute Central Team to study the situation and assess the losses.

Along with the floods, as many as 20 districts have experienced 20% deficit in rainfall. Consequently, 86 taluks are hit by drought conditions.

Drinking water is being supplied through tankers to the 99 villages which are facing scarcity of drinking water. The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to take up relief works through funds released under the Calamities Relief Fund.  A sum of Rs.150 crore is presently available with the Deputy Commissioners.

A sum of Rs.5 crore has been released to starting cattle-sheds in 50 drought-hit taluks at Rs.10 lakh each. Arrangements are being made to supply fodder to cattle at concession rates. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department has released Rs.242 crore for drinking water supply scheme and an additional Rs.16 crore has been provided for undertaking emergency relief works.

LAW AND ORDER

Naxal and terrorists activities have been considerably controlled.  Police force has been given additional facilities.  It is also proposed to provide further training to the police.

AMENDMENT TO COCA

It has been decided to implement the Karnataka Control of Organized Crime Act (COCA) through suitable amendments terrorist activities in the State.  The Government has also decided to initiate action against those indulging in audio and video piracy by invoking the provisions of anti-Goonda Act.

POLICE ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS

The Government is keen to bring about administrative reforms in the Police Force. It has been decided to establish Police Establishment Board to check interference in the transfers of policemen in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court.

STATE SECURITY COUNCIL

The State Security Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister has been set up. A high-level committee to prepare a comprehensive action plan and monitor its implementation has been constituted.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE EXAMINATIONS EVERY YEAR

Administrative machinery can be energized only with the infusion of young blood.  With a view to work in this direction, the Government has decided to amend the rules pertaining to the recruitments of State Administrative Service Officers and facilitate the conduct of competitive examinations every year.

NEW POLICIES

The Government has implemented a new policy for the promotion of Tourism, new industrial policy for industrial development and a new mining policy to regulate mining activities and promotion of value addition and a new information technology policy is on the anvil.

GUIDANCE FROM TASK FORCES

Karnataka is seeking the guidance and assistance for implementation of State’s developmental programmes from leading scientists, technocrats and other experts. Karnataka Development Vision 2020 document has been prepared.  Knowledge Commission headed by Prof. Kasturi Rangan, Science and Technology Mission under the chairmanship of Dr. C.N.R. Rao, Organic Farming Mission under the chairmanship of Dr. Anand, Bio-fuel Task Force headed by Dr. Ramakrishna and Industrial Vision Group under Kris Gopalakrishna are functioning. A Skills Commission and ABIDE initiative under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister are also working.  A Task Force on quality control headed by noted technocrat Dr. Vishwanth has also been constituted to monitor quality control in the implementation of developmental programme.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The statutory grants to Grama Panchayats has been enhanced from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.6 lakh. We have decided to strengthen all the 5,628 Gram Panchayats of the State by giving approval for the creation of 5,628 posts of Gram Panchayat Development Officer and 2,500 posts of Accounts Assistants.  The recruitment process to fill these posts is underway.

Emphasis has been given to the development of rural roads.  The State has been successful in securing an additional grant of Rs.810 crore from the centre to build rural roads under P.M.G.S.Y.

Rs.300 crore has been allocated during the present year for Suvarna Gramodhaya Scheme.  A plan has been prepared to develop 1,222 villages under the 2nd stage of this scheme.

JOB FAIRS

In the last one year, mega job fairs and skill development melas had been organized in seven cities and 55,800 persons were given jobs and over 60,000 candidates were given training for upgradation of skills.

EDUCATION

Our Government has given top priority for Education. During last one year, Law University at Hubli, Horticulture University at Bagalkot and Agriculture University at Raichur have been started.

The Government has also decided to establish Sanskrit and Vedic University in Bangalore, a Music University named after Dr. Gangubai Hangal in Mysore and a new Unversity in Davangere.

A grant of Rs.10 crore has been provided for starting an Engineering College in Gangavathi taluk with a view to ensure technical educational facilities in the backward Koppal district and Rs.5 crore for establishing a Horticulture College in Kolar.

Rs.15 crore has been allocated to providing loan assistance to as many as 10,000 students at 6% rate of interest for pursuing professional and higher education courses.

With a view to provide more emphasis to social justice, our government had announced an incentive of Rs.10,000/- and Rs.5,000/- to the Girl students belonging to SC/ST securing more than 75% and 60% marks in S.S.LC. examinations respectively.  This novel scheme has been extended to Boy students also and an estimated 36,000 SC/ST students will be benefited to the tune of Rs.23 crore by way of cash incentives.

Text Books and Uniforms have been distributed to all the students in the beginning of the current educational year itself.

POWER

Though Karnataka enjoys the distinction of being the first State to have produced hydro-electric power, it has been reduced to facing chronic shortages in the power sector.

Despite the shortage of power, the Government has spent additional amount for purchasing electricity to meet the demand for quality power supply.

The Government has provided Rs.2,100 crore as subsidy towards supply of free power for 15 lakh irrigation pump sets upto 10 HP capacity.

The State has been successful in adding 1,000 M.W. of electricity generating capacity to the state grid during the year 2008-09.  At least another 1,300 M.W. capacity of power generation will be added to the State Grid during 2009-10. In the next four years, a minimum of 5,000 M.W. capacity addition will be achieved.

Land acquisition proceedings have commenced for setting up the 4,000 M.W. capacity thermal power plant at Kudigi in Bijapur district through National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The State has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) for laying a gas pipeline from Dhabol in Maharashtra to Bangalore.  This will facilitate the establishment of gas based power plants in Bangalore and other places en-route. The Centre has been requested to provide necessary gas for this purpose.

Karnataka’s power generation activities were so far confined to the state. For the first time, the state has taken the initiative to establish a 1,600 M.W. pit-head thermal power plant in Chattisgarh, the implementation of which has already commenced.

The Karnataka Power Transmission Company Limited (KPTCL) has proposed to provide new electricity connection to 1.3 lakh houses this year.

AGRICULTURE

Thanks to the novel scheme of providing farm  loans at 3% subsidized interest rates, as many as 13.20 lakh farmers were able to obtain Rs.3,577 crore farm loan during the last one year.

As many as 533 farmers from the State have visited China on a study tour during 2008-09.

The Government has set apart Rs.5 crore towards the study tour of farmers during 2009-10.  The first batch of 105 farmers were already completed their tour of China.

The Organic Farming Mission launched in August last year has been functioning quite effectively.  A sum of Rs.48.45 crore has been spent so far on supply of green leaf manure, distribution of seeds, vermiculture units, preparation of liquid fertilizers and other such novel initiatives.  Rs.100 crore has been earmarked for this programme during the current year.

HEALTH

Under the Arogya Kavacha programme for ensuring 24×7 free emergency medical service and ambulance facility, a total of 238 ambulances are presently functioning in the state.  Over 40,000 precious lives have been saved under this programme during the last one year alone.

The novel Suvarna Arogya Suraksha programme aimed at providing free medical treatment costing upto Rs.1.5 lakh for treatment terminal diseases to benefit about 16 lakh BPL families has been launched on a pilot basis in the first phase in the districts of Bellary, Koppal, Raichur and Bidar from July 31, 2009.  As many as 685 doctors have been recruited in the Health Department.

STEPS FOR SWINE FLU CONTROL

With the increased incidences of H1N1 or Swine Flu, Dengue, Cikun Gunya and such other diseases in the State in the recent past, the Government has taken steps to control them.

Screening of around 3.35 lakh Air passengers has been conducted in Bangalore International Airport and Mangalore Airport.

Steps are being taken to prevent the spread of Swine Flu and to provide treatment to the affected people at different hospitals in the State, including 13 hospitals in Bangalore.

One lakh Tami flu tablets and necessary equipments have been distributed to various hospitals.  I appeal to the people not to panic unnecessarily regarding swine flu.  The government has given due publicity in print and other media regarding the precaution measures to be taken to prevent and control swine flue.

Necessary awareness programmes in this regard will also be conducted in schools and colleges.

INFRASTRCUTURE DEVELOPMENT

The work has been started to build Airports at Gulbarga and Shimoga. Development of Hassan and Bijapur airports and the upgradation of Hubli, Belgaum and Mangalore airports is underway.

Mysore and Bidar Airports are ready to start air services and we have requested the centre to commission these two Airports at the earliest.

ROADS

Road connectivity and communication network is very much essential for the State’s economic development.  Our Government has accorded the highest priority for the development of roads.  The Public Works Department has spent Rs.2,500 crore towards the maintenance of roads. Tendering process will commence from September 2009 for the development of 10,000 kms. of roads under the PPP model.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Karnataka is famous for eco-tourism. As many as 11 environmental tourist promotion centers have been established in the State. Several environment-friendly programmes are being implemented in the State.

A sum of Rs.16 crore has already been spent for the comprehensive development of the World Heritage Centre, Hampi. Special steps are being taken to develop Nandi Hills, Kodachadri Hills and Kemmanna Gundi Hill Stations.

REDRESSAL OF REGIONAL IMBALANCES

A sum of Rs.2,547 crore had been earmarked under separate head of accounts for the implementation of the recommendations of Dr. D.M. Nanjundappa Committee on redressal of regional imbalances during 2008-09. Of this, Rs.1,739 crore has been spent. During the current year too, another Rs.2,574 crore had been allocated for this purpose. A Special High Level committee has been constituted to review and implement the necessary programmes in this regard.

TIMELY IMPLEMENTATION OF IRRIGATION PROJECTS

We have taken necessary action during the last one year to complete irrigation projects which were pending for many years.  Irrigation facility has been extended to around 1,16,000 acres of land.

Our government has fulfilled the aspirations of lakhs of farmers by sanctioning 17 new irrigation projects like Upper Bhadra Project, Gutti Basavanna, Dandavathi Project etc.

SPECIAL EMPHASIS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF COORG

Coorg district has the distinction of producing thousands of soldiers and officers including the Chiefs of the National Army.  It is a matter of pride for Karnataka.

A special package of Rs.25 crore was sanctioned last year for the development of infrastructure in this beautiful district.  Special emphasis will be given this year also to improve the infrastructure and tourism in this district.

MANTHANA

In the light of the enormous success of the first Manthana dialogue programme held on August 13, 2008, the Mathana-2 programme was organized recently. This is a novel initiative for a free and frank exchange of views between officers and ministers, which has resulted in the formulation of several new programmes. Efforts are being made for their implementation.

This type of exchange of views under Manthana is proposed to be held once in every three months.

FIRST IN THE COUNTRY

I am proud to state that Karnataka has emerged in the first place in the entire country in several respects during the last 15 months of our Government’s rule.

Extending farm loans to farmers at 3% interest rate not only from cooperative institutions but also from commercial banks,  a special cash incentive of Rs 2 per litre to milk producers (of the Rs 200 crore earmarked for this purpose during the current year, Rs 100 crore has already been released) and deputing farmers, including women, for agricultural study tours abroad are some of the FIRSTS notched up by Karnataka in the entire country.

Constitution of a Knowledge Commission at the State-level is a FIRST OF ITS KIND in Karnataka.  The State is in the top-most position in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Grama Sadak Yojana in India.

Karnataka continues to be in the forefront of Information Technology. With software exports of Rs. 67,000 crore during 2008-09 in terms of value, Karnataka enjoys the first rank in this sector in the entire country.

As many as 1.20 crore families have received benefits and facilities under various schemes during the last one year.

The State has given a new dimension to the social security of the GIRL CHILD by instituting bonds of Rs 20,000 each in the name of the girl child born in poor families under the BHAGYALAKSHMI SCHEME.

The value of the bond will be a hefty sum of Rs 1 lakh in the account of the girl by the time she attains the age of 18 years. A sum of Rs 316 crore has been deposited in the names of as many as 2.97 lakh girls during the last year.

The monthly stipend being given to senior citizens above 65 years under SANDHYA SURAKSHA SCHEME has been enhanced to Rs.400.  Over 6 lakh beneficiaries have been granted pension under this scheme last year.

The monthly stipend being paid to the physically handicapped persons with more than 75% disability has been enhanced to Rs 1,000. As many as 6,700 physically handicapped  persons have been paid a stipend of Rs 8.40 crore during the last year.

DEVELOPMENT OF BANGALORE

I had spoken about the steps contemplated for the development of infrastructural facilities of Bangalore City from this same platform last year. Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) has been put in place and it is working actively.  You have been witnessing the expeditious implementation of projects worth over Rs.800 crore for laying of roads, their widening, development, building flyovers, under- bridges and subways all over the City.

The Rs.3,383 crore Second Phase of Cauvery Water Supply Scheme’s Fourth Stage for supplying 500 million litres of water a day to Bangalore with Japanese assistance is now being implemented.

By the end of December 2010, the First Stage of NAMMA METRO project will be commissioned. The State Government has released Rs. 1,134 crore for the Metro project so far while the Union Government has released Rs. 370 crore.

Our Government has constituted a Task Force to monitor the quality of all public works including Metro project and to prevent mishaps.

The initiative of providing all civic services to the citizens in a single office under the BANGALORE ONE centers is successful. 53 Bangalore One Centers are functioning at present. It has been decided to increase the number of Bangalore One Centers to 100 and also to increase the number of services from the center by the end of this year.

The lakes and parks are being development as a part of the drive to enhance the beauty of Bangalore along with other infrastructure development projects.

During the last one year, a total of 80 parks and 29 lakes have been developed at a cost of Rs.294 crore.

In order to easen the traffic and reduce the congestion, it has already been decided to shift the Bangalore Turf Club (Race Course) to the out skirts of the city.  Land has already been sanctioned to relocate B.T.C.

Mini Lalbaghs (Gardens in the famed Lalbagh model) will be developed in all four directions of the city to enhance its beauty.

DEVELOPMENT OF ALL OTHER CITIES AND TOWNS

Bangalore One model centres are proposed to be opened in Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum, Shimoga and Gulbarga cities.

It has been proposed to set up Agri-Biotech Park in Dharwad, Marine Biotech Park in Mangalore, Animal House in Bidar and Nutra-Biotech and Cyto Pharmaceutical Park at Mysore during 2009-10.

An amount of Rs.100 crore each for City Corporation, Rs.30 crore each for District Headquarters and Rs. 5 crore each for all Taluk centers has been provided to take up necessary development works

Rs.1,411 crore worth of different developmental projects have been taken up in 211 small and medium towns.

JANASPANDANA (PUBLIC GRIEVANCES MEET)

As is evident from its very name, Janaspandana is a novel week end programme of our Government to take the government administration to the doorsteps of the people and providing them with facilities and benefits.

After the launch of Janaspandana programme from September 20, 2008 till the end of July this year, a total of 4,048 meetings have been held at hobli level.

A total of 8,93,920 applications have been received from the public from these meetings, of which as many as 6,79,524 or 78% have been disposed of so far.

SPECIAL SESSION

The dream of ushering in Gramarajya and Ramarajya has remained unfulfilled even after 62 years of attaining Independence. The fruits of Independence have not been equitably distributed. The lower strata of society have not been able to join the mainstream in terms of development.  The freedom becomes really meaningful when these noble ideals are achieved. Our Government is actively engaged in this gigantic and ambitious task.

It has been decided to convene a Special Session of the State Legislature in the Second week of September to discuss the implementation of PURA (Providing Urban Facilitation in Rural Areas), the brainchild of former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam including the issues on Rural Development and Agriculture.

The suggestions and ideas thrown up at this Special Session will be consolidated and efforts will be made for implementation in the next Budget.

A Cabinet Meeting had been held in Gulbarga last year.  It has been decided to convene another Cabinet Meeting in Gulbarga this year also to review the implementation of the decisions taken at last year’s Cabinet Meeting and to take new decisions.  This will enable us to give special attention to the development of the backward district of Gulbarga.

SUVARNA SOUDHA

The agreement for awarding the contract for constructing a Suvarna Soudha in Belgaum in 110 acres of land at a cost of Rs 230 crore has already been signed.

This Suvarna Soudha will be helpful in holding Legislature Session at Belgaum every year.

SANKALPA (RESOLUTION)

I have given a bird’s eye view of the path traversed by our Government over the last one year on the occasion of this Independence Day celebration.  Though we have been able to achieve a lot, I am well aware of the fact that there is still a lot to be achieved. Our Government is committed to the equal development of all sections of society and all regions of the State.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS,

I am reminded of the lines from one of the famous Kannada poems by celebrated poet Gopalakrishna Adiga “Kattuvevu naavu hosa naadondanu, rasada beedondanu,’’ which speaks about the resolve to build a modern, liberal and a strong State. This is an opportune moment to recall India’s glory and Karnataka’s greatness yet again. Let us always be vigilant and ready to rededicate ourselves to protect the sovereignty of the Nation and precious gift of freedom earned by us under the leadership of the apostle of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhiji, with immense sacrifices. I appeal to everybody to work selflessly in the task of nation-building. My greetings once again, to all of you on this Independence Day.

Jai Hind, Jai Karnataka