The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday decided to convene the winter session of the state legislature at the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi in December. Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur confirmed that the session is expected to be 10 days long, although the dates are yet to be finalised.
This will be the first Assembly session for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state. Belagavi in northern Karnataka has played host to a legislative session once every year since 2006. The shift was first brought about by HD Kumaraswamy, when he became the Chief Minister of the JD(S)-BJP coalition government.
In August, there were calls for a North Karnataka bandh, with protestors highlighting the history of neglect faced by the 13 districts that make up the northern part of Karnataka. It was pointed out at the time that the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi is hardly used throughout the year, prompting Kumaraswamy to shift some offices to Belagavi.
The cabinet approved the construction of a fishing harbour at Kulai in Dakshina Kannada at a cost of Rs 196.51 crore. The Ministry of Shipping will invest Rs 98.25 crore, that is, 50% of the costs, under the Sagarmala Project, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries of the Union government. New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) will invest Rs 88.43 crore (45%) and the State government will contribute Rs 9.83 crore (5%).
Meanwhile, a decision was also taken to sanction the setting up of 250 anganwadis in urban areas in the state at a cost of Rs 17.5 crore. A geographical information system, based on the property, was also mooted for urban local bodies. The formation of the Hubballi-Dharwad city transport service at the cost of Rs 35 crore was also sanctioned.