Development disparities in Karnataka and public policies, Redressel of development disparities. Regional development boards

Development disparities in Karnataka

History of Karnataka shows that North Karnataka was more developed politically, economically and culturally . This is evident from the fact that most of the Kannada dynasties are from north Karnataka, namely, Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Chalukya, Kalachuri, Vijaya Nagar and so on. Three gems of Kannada literature Pampa, Ponna and Ranna were from this region. The question is in spite of this, why North Karnataka has at present remained an under developed region. The reason is that, after the collapse of the Vijayanagar.

Empire, the members of the royal family went over to , Mysore and Pennukonda of Andhra Pradesh. Over the period, under the leadership of Hyder Ali, Mysore state extended its borders up to most parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. After his death, his son Tippu Sultan fought with the Britishand lost the war. Arcot Nawab, Hyderabad Nawab and Maratha’s supported colonial power of Britishers to win that war. Hence, Mysore territory was distributed among all of them. Some part of the Mysore was given to Mysore Kings.

For this reason, regional imbalances in Karnataka have always been studied by dividing the state into North Karnataka and South Karnataka. In North again two parts can been seen, namely, Hyderabad Karnataka and Bombay Karnataka regions. To reduce the regional imbalances Karnataka Government has taken various steps like setting up Hyderabad Karnataka Area Development Board, Bayaluseeme Development Board, Border Area Development Progamme, Malanad Area Development Board and so on.

Karnataka has been considered as a middle-income state in the Indian union. States such as Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra have shown higher economic development in terms of Per Capita Net State Domestic Product (PCNSDP).

Inter-district regional imbalances in growth rates for Karnataka are significantly higher during the last 10 years of the study period than the first 10 years. Inter-districts disparities within the region for south and north was more or less similar (20 and 22 per cent respectively) for the first 10 years, whereas it has increased around 3 times more compared to first 10 years in southern region. Inter-district disparity within the districts is higher in both the divisions of south Karnataka during last ten years. In first 10 years, all the divisions of south and north have shown a similar inter-district disparity, whereas, except Belgaum division, the remaining 3 divisions have experienced increased inter-district disparity in the last 10 years. Bangalore division has higher growth rate as well as higher inter-district disparities which means, Bangalore division has ‘growth with disparity’. Mysore division has not only faced lower growth rate but also higher regional imbalances in the last 10 years of the study period.

The ranking of the growth rates of the districts, shows that Bangalore rural, Bangalore urban, Haveri, Bagalkot and Mysore were in the top 5 position in last 20 years. The analysis of SDP share of north and south reveals that 70 per cent of the domestic product is from south Karnataka. Bangalore division alone contributes more than 50 per cent of the domestic product to the state. Gulbarga division’s share is only around 12 per cent which is the lowest among the divisions. Bangalore urban district alone contributes 32.8 per cent of the domestic product. If we compare the share of domestic product with the share of population, north Karnataka contributes only 30 per cent domestic product with 42.9 per cent of the population share.

Policy recommandations and suggestions

The process of planning and policy requires a new orientation to tackle the problem of regional imbalances in the economy of Karnataka and to ensure its balanced development. T^he present system of planning has been brought to district level but it has failed to achieve the desired goal because it seems simply a schematic.

devolution and it ought to be brought to area level (taluk/village). By following the growth centre strategy, the process of planning can be brought to the grassroots level with sufficient involvement of people in the development endeavors. The taluk level machinery should identify the growth centres. The taluk level machinery should be restructured and it should include economists, statisticians, geographers, engineers and other technocrats. The taluk level machinery should also be responsible for collecting relevant information and implementing and monitoring the development plans in an integrated way with the active involvement of people. People should also be given maximum freedom in executing schemes so as to secure their maximum involvement. The Gram Sabha should also be made wholly responsible for the execution of development schemes at the village levels.

  • Bidar, Bijapur, Chickmagalur, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Kodagu and Uttar Kannada districts lag behind in the agricultural sector. Since agriculture is heavily dependent on natural factors, the structural deficiencies have undermined agricultural progress in some of these districts. A typical example for this natural hurdle can be seen in the case of Uttar Kannada district. The district has around 80 per cent of its geographical area under dense forest leaving limited land that can be put into agricultural use. Therefore, the developmental policies have to focus on any productive activities, which are essentially forest based rather than only on agriculture.
  • Compared to the natural factors the negative impact of manmade factors is high in balanced agricultural development. One of the crucial factors of this kind is inadequate irrigation facilities. Inspite of numerous projects, the full irrigational potential in many parts of Karnataka is still not utilized. Inadequate irrigation facilities are the major cause of agricultural backwardness in Chickmagalur and Bidar districts
  • Most of the backward districts still have vast area under cultivable waste. If such lands are brought under cultivation, it could really boost up agricultural and horticultural production. There could be expansion of pasture and grazing land to promote live stock in these districts. Effective utilization of cultivable waste is thus very much called for and comprehensive strategy is needed for the same.
  • It is evident that some districts might have been deprived of certain natural advantage or deficient on account of defective strategy of development. These problems may be unique to a particular district or it may share them with other districts either in the neighbourhood or elsewhere. Evolving strategies for the agricultural sector at the state level, in general, neither has the required focus nor can strengthen the existing weak links. Therefore, the districts with common problems can be grouped into homogeneous category and their special problems should be addressed.
  • Like agriculture, industrial sector is also a mainstay of state’s economy. However. Industries were highly concentrated in a few centres without much spread effect. In spite of all the policies, programmes and schemes, it is indeed disheartening to see many districts with below average performance in industrial sector. Though some backward districts improved their position in absolute terms, the inter-district disparities have gone up.
  • In Karnataka, banking sector is highly advanced in the two business centers, namely, Bangalore and Dakshin Kannada districts and also in the two Malnad districts ofChickmagalur and Kodagu. Rest ofthe districts is deficient in terms of either the area coverage or accessibility. Consequently, many districts have relatively lower deposit and credit per capita. To overcome these deficiencies, proper spatial planning is needed to provide the backward districts with efficient financial infrastructure. Both area and population parameters have to be considered carefully in such a planning for more a balanced development ofbanking sector in the State.


Regional development boards

Kalyan Karnataka region Development Board

This regional boar came into existence by amendment to the constitution of India, Article 371(j) was created by the central Government in 2013. The mission of the KKRDB is to achieve rapid inclusive growth and balanced regional development with social justice for the six districts coming under Kalyana Karnataka Region. The vision is to achieve this through Macro and Micro level planning by filling the historical developmental gaps in such a way that the centres of growth and the peripheries develop in tandems and in an interdependent manner. The KKRDB has adopted the Taluka as a unit, taking guidance from the Dr. Nanjundappa Report on Redressal of regional Imbalance. Funds for Micro Projects (60%) are allocated proportionate to the CDI (Comprehensive Deprivation Index) for that Taluka and must be spent on critical Infrastructure and institutional gaps. For Macro Projects (40%) funds are allocated sector wise by the Board, to fill gaps in Macro sectors identified according to scale or scope or a combination of the two.

Bayaluseeme Development Board

The State Government is proactive in addressing the regional imbalances in development and has constituted two autonomous boards to focus on the overall development of certain areas in the state viz., Malnad area and Maidan ( Bayaluseeme) area.  The thrust is on development of infrastructure viz., roads and bridges, rural and urban water supply schemes, minor irrigation soil conservation and social sector works.  In addition to these Area Development Boards, the State has also constituted the Karavali Development Authority for preparation of need based Project Reports, Feasibility Reports for comprehensive development of coastal regions.

Malnad Area Development Board

Malnad is a region of Karnataka state in South India. Malnad covers the western and eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, roughly 100 km in width. It is a hilly terrain and comes under the heavy rain fall belt. The Malenadu region is humid and has an annual rainfall of 1000 to 3800 mm. Agumbe which is in Shivamogga district receives highest rainfall in Karnataka (close to 10000 mm) and is also known as Karnataka’s Cherrapunji.

In Malnad area the villages are scattered to lying in remote areas .This region in the state poses special problems of development mainly due to peculiar settlement, sparse population, topography, dense forest, numerous, rivulets etc. In order to hasten the development of this area, Malnad Area Development Board was created as per Malnad Area development Act,1991 with a view to achieve overall development of Malnad area by implementing necessary development projects/works. The districts covered initially in this region were Shivamogga, Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada, Kodagu and Hassan. At present total jurisidiction of the board covers part or full area of 13 districts of the state namely Chamarajnagar, Belgaum, Dharwar, Davangere, Haveri, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Shivamogga, Kodagu, Mysore, Uttarkannada, Udupi, Mangalore.

The main objective of the Board is to prepare annual action plan containing projects and programmes required for overall development of Malnad area. The Board is required to supervise the implementation of projects and programmes included in its annual action plan. By implementing the programmes and projects taken up under its action plan, Board shall cause overall development of the Malnad area.



Karnataka Legislators Local Area Development Scheme

The investment in development programmes based on a sectoral planning process to benefit local area leaves some infrastructure gaps, despite best planning effort. This under-mines the investment, which is not optimally beneficial to the local area. The domination of the sectoral planning process has limited the potential scope for participation by people’s elected representatives and the user community. There have been occasions where some important works have not been undertaken, as they are not covered by any existing plan or non-plan scheme.

In order to accommodate local aspirations and needs better, and to ensure responsive planning and delivery of services, the Government has taken up schemes for asset creation, infrastructure development and employment generation for the benefit of the poor and weaker sections, whose planning and execution can be done at the Legislator’s Constituency Level.

The Government has introduced the Karnataka Legislator’s Local Area Development Scheme (KLLADS) in 2001-02 with Rs.25.00 lakh per constituency under Non-Plan. The allocation has been enhanced from Rs.25.00 lakh to Rs.100.00 lakh per Legislature constituency from 2006-07. Further this amount has been enhanced from Rs.100.00 lakh to Rs.200.00 lakh per constituency from 2013-14.


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