Karnataka formalises creation of new Vijayanagara district
Bengaluru, November 27, 2020
The Karnataka State Cabinet on Friday formally approved the borders for the newly carved out Vijayanagara district from the existing Ballary district.
Vijayanagara will now be the 31st district in the state and will comprise six taluks -- Hospet, Harapanahalli, Hoovina Hadagali, Hagari Bommanahalli, Kotturu and Kudligi.
It may be recalled that on November 18, the Cabinet had given in-principle nod to create this district. Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa had directed the officials to draw the boundaries for the new district before giving a formal nod.
Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting here, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said that Hospet, located about 12 km from Hampi, will be the district headquarters.
"We will issue a notification in this regard soon," he said, adding that the remaining taluks will be part of the Ballari district.
He further said that Yediyurppa has approved the creation of the new district primarily to ensure that the administration runs smoothly.
"Some of the areas in Ballari are very far from Ballari City. This makes it difficult for those from the economically backward sections, daily-wage workers and even farmers to navigate and get their work done," he stated.
The move comes as a boost to mining baron and Environment and Forests Minister S. Anand Singh, who had championed the cause for carving out a separate Vijayanagara district.
In September 2019, Yediyurappa had acknowledged Anand Singh's proposal for creating a new district. Ever since, there have been heated debates as several politicians and groups staunchly opposed the move.
The President of Kalyana Karnataka Horata Samiti, Hirigeri Pannaraj, said the organisation would launch a protest after holding a meeting on Saturday.
"We have been fighting against the delimitation and creation of the new district. The government has decided to form the new district despite so many of us openly saying that we don't want it. We will launch a protest tomorrow after a meeting with the United Ballari Horata Samiti," he told reporters in Ballary.
The BJP MLA representing Ballari city, G. Somashekhar Reddy, and G. Karunakar Reddy, both brothers of mining barron and Ballary strongman G. Janardhana Reddy, termed the proposal "selfish" and described it as one that Yediyurappa should not have agreed to.
The opposition to the new district was the highest in Bellari city, where farmer associations, lawyer groups and pro-Kannada groups led by BJP leaders Somashekara Reddy and Karunakara Reddy held protests against the move.
Another major fall-out of the geographical change is that the world famous heritage town of Hampi will now be part of Vijayanagara district, while Ballary district is set to lose its iconic status on the world tourism map.