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Karwar : Argument is fierce over the issue of shifting Medical College from Karwar to Sirsi. Inflammatory statement made by doctors and members of the Medical Association of Sirsi that a medical college was sanctioned for Uttara Kannada district and not for Karwar has kicked up a debate. few days back More then 40 organizations took out a procession in Karwar protesting against the proposed shifting of medical college from Karwar to Sirsi. Whereas, Various organisations in Sirsi have planned a protest on Tuesday demanding the medical college in their town.
Earlier Uttara Kannada district minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri's move to shift the proposed government medical college to his constituency, Sirsi,created quite a stir among the residents of coastal taluks and have resulted into big protest at Karwar.
According to sources, it is alleged that Kageri pressurized officials of the health and revenue departments to prepare a report in favour of Sirsi as the ideal location for the college.However, Fisheries Minister Anand Asnotikar,who represents Karwar, has warned Kageri against the move.The officials of Revenue and Health departments are caught between the political fight of these two ministers.
Senior officer of the Health Department said that ,about four years ago State Government had issued a notification stating that the district hospitals in all district headquarters should be upgraded and medical colleges should be started. Karwar is the district headquarter of the Uttar Kannada , so the district hospital would be upgraded here and a medical college would be opened. He said he did not understand the logic behind the statement of doctors from Sirsi, who claimed that it was not sanctioned to Karwar but to Uttara Kannada district. Such confusion would complicate the matter.Even the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada had made it clear that the medical college would be set up in Karwar. So unnecessary fight over the issue should be stopped, he said.
Revenue Department officials said the proposal for the medical college in the District Hospital in Karwar was sent to the Government as the Government had specifically issued direction to set up medical college in district headquarters. Karwar being the district headquarter of Uttara Kannada, it would be set up here. There should not be any confusion in this regard.
Sunil Hegde, MLA from Haliyal have said that the medical college in Karwar would benefit the people of Joida, which is the most backward taluk of Karnataka. -So I support Karwar,- he said.
Umakanth Harikantra, former taluk panchayat member and fishermen leader from Karwar, said it was not fair on the part of the people of Karwar and Sirsi to fight over the medical college. During last four years, Sirsi had got horticulture and forest colleges and there was no objection from the people of coastal area. People of Karwar had sacrificed their land and houses for big projects such as Kaiga nuclear plant and Seabird Naval Base. So a medical college would benefit them. Politicians and doctors from Sirsi should not oppose it, he said.
Anu Kalas, an activist, expressed similar views. She said that Karwar was the commercial hub of the district and a border town. Let the Government sanction one more medical college to Sirsi.