By: Indresh Madikeri
Madikeri: After Kushalnagar, people of Ponnampet want the region to be declared a taluk.
"Before merger with Karnataka in 1956, Kodagu was a separate C state and Ponnampet was the taluk centre of Kiggattu Nadu taluk," said MS Kushalappa, leader of Ponnampet taluk formation agitation committee.
The agitators submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah through district minister MR Seetharam on Sunday, making the case for Ponnampet to be declared a taluk. According to the protestors, Ponnampet has a state forestry science college, the only private engineering college in the district, degree colleges, sub-registrar office, sub-treasury, and a civil court. Ponnampet is currently part of Virajpet taluk and protestors say that farmers of Shrimangala region have to waste a whole day to travel to Virajpet which is 50km away.
MP Appachu said that at present Ponnampet was a Grade One gram panchayat. "But two decades back it was a municipality," he said.
When contacted, Codava national council president N U Nachappa stressed the need for formation of small taluks to ensure good
governance. He said the district was a hilly region and small taluks were a must for effective administration. "If government neglects the demands of people of the district, demand for separate statehood will be strengthened," he said.