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The riches to rags story of Bellary

Last updated on: April 26, 2013 14:17 IST

The riches to rags story of Bellary

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bellary

Vicky Nanjappa reports on the sharp economic differences that prevail in Bellary despite its riches and resources

Whenever Bellary has hit headlines, it has either to do with its riches or its mining industry.

However, as the adage goes the higher the elevation, the deeper the fall. And that fits the description of Bellary perfectly.

The arrest of mining baron Janardhan Reddy and the ban on mining has changed the panorama of this Karnataka district.

The contradictions in Bellary are clearly visible.

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Image: Bellary Fort
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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The riches to rags story of Bellary

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While on one hand a mining baron lives in a 40-bedroom bungalow, on the other one could see a woman struggling to eat two meals a day.

While on one end a fountain flows on, on the other people can be seen waiting in line for drinking water.

Truck drivers carrying iron ore would drive arrogantly kicking up hazardous dust. In the skies of Bellary the sight of a chopper was not uncommon. The helicopter had become such a common sight that a temple sported a board -- "no parking for helicopters."

The power of Bellary was such that the mining lobby, which was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party had three ministers from this district -- Sriramulu, Karunankar and Janardhan Reddy.

But has that resulted in the development of Bellary? The answer is an easy NO.

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The riches to rags story of Bellary

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People in Bellary lament the lack of drinking water. Ironically, water is stored but not distributed due to want of a proper system.

The roads that were damaged due to the trucks carrying illegal ore remain in bad shape.

Education is another issue that needs improvement here.

However, the biggest issue could be medical services. The people living in the mining areas suffer from various ailments related to breathing and skin.

And because there are not enough hospitals to treat these persons, they continue to languish.

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Tags: Bellary

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Ask anyone in Bellary who their saviour is. They would not name their ministers or MLAs, but the Lokayukta and the Supreme Court.

The Lokayukta report and the Supreme Court crackdown have put an end to the menace of illegal mining.

Today, one could see that the system is better and there is no chaos on the roads like it used to be earlier. Everything is more systematic today.

However, Bellary has a long way to go. It needs to shrug the mining issue off. If the government manages to tap the resources properly, then Bellary would have no dearth of funds and develop simultaneously.

 




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