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April 14, 2018

Issues surrounding Kolar

Kolar, which is commonly regarded as the golden city of India, is a district in Karnataka. It is situated in Kolar Lok Sabha constituency and is represented by K. H. Muniyappa of the Indian National Congress. This district lies around 70 kilometres away from Bengaluru, the IT capital of India, and is known for large production of milk. Popularly known as land of silk for its high production, this district is also famous for its gold mines, and mango. Someshwara temple, Kolaramma temple and Antaragange, which is also known as “Dakshina Kashi Kshetra”, are located in Kolar and are famous tourist attractions of this district.

Issues surrounding Kolar

Kolar Gold Fields 

Kolar Gold Fields(KGF), which were popularly known as cash cow during the British Raj, have an engrossing history of mining. The town of Kolar was famous for gold mining for over a century and the mines were eventually closed in 2001 due to low level of gold production. Since then, around 25,000 people in Kolar have migrated to Bengaluru for work.

No election campaign in Kolar is complete without a mention of the Kolar Gold Fields and its reopening. The government has made several promises regarding the re-opening, but nothing has happened. The state government had once made an announcement of developing a new city in Kolar Gold Fields to create employment, but the project was considered non-implementable. In every election political parties aggressive campaign in the constituency and try to lure voters; however, not much attention has been paid to the problem. This region is highly influenced by Tamil Nadu, as it is the only constituency where regional parties of Tamil Nadu have tasted success. M Bhaktavatsalam of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was elected MLA thrice from this constituency. Earlier, left parties dominated this area as they focused on supporting the mining workers.

Water scarcity in Kolar

Water scarcity has been a pertinent issue in Kolar district. In fact, the shortage of water has become a common problem in the constituency and no solution seems to be in sight. Though this is a major issue, but political parties rarely speak about it. Kolar, along with other districts, is gifted with 5,349 natural lakes which can hold 79 tmc of water collectively. But due to the failed monsoons and groundwater depletion, the region is frequently prone to droughts.

A scam has also been reported in this area called the Yettinahole project (to supply water from the tributaries of Netravati river from the rain-rich Sakleshpur). Under BJP rule in Karnataka, the project cost was Rs 8300 crores which was revised to Rs. 13,000 crores by the Congress. Many farmers are raising their voices to make water-scarcity a central issue this election.

Unemployment and Backwardness

After the shutting down of the Kolar Gold Fields, unemployment has become a major issue in this district as people working in mines are left with no option. They have to travel to Bengaluru daily for earning a livelihood. This major issue has also been neglected in past years and needs to be addressed.

Only Feudalism and money-power are some of the issues which dominate the election campaigns in Kolar. No attention has been paid to the above issues.


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