Brand 'Rama'Nagara Not Attractive Enough for Investors, District May Soon Become Nava Bengaluru
According to the deputy director of Ramanagara district information department, the government has received a lot of name-change proposals and may take a call in this regard.
It was at this place, also known as Ramgarh, where the iconic Hindi film 'Sholay' was shot. (Credit: Dev Balaji Setty)
Bengaluru: Lord Ram or Rama may be the biggest brand for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but the ruling camp in Karnataka is struggling to sell it to global investors.
According to local reports, the state government may soon change the name of Ramanagara district to Nava Bengaluru to attract big foreign investments there.
Ramanagara, 30km from Bengaluru, was a taluk till 2006. It was a part of the greater Bengaluru Rural district. In 2006, the then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who was also an MLA from Ramanagara, created a new district by carving out a few taluks from Bengaluru Rural district.
Unlike the current Bengaluru Rural district, Ramanagara has more land and water. It also lies between state capital of Bengaluru and Mysuru, making it an attractive destination for big industries.
However, the place is unknown outside the state and global companies want to invest only in Bengaluru because of its brand value. Sources say the state government is now planning to change the name to Nava (new) Bengaluru on the lines of Navi Mumbai.
According to the deputy director of Ramanagara district information department, the government has received a lot of name-change proposals.
“It is true that there has been a demand to change the name to Nava Bengaluru. People from all walks of life have given suggestions. It is up to the state government to take a call on the matter,” he said.
Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who represents Kanakapura as an MLA in the same district, said that way back in 2006, he had advised Kumaraswamy to name the new district as Bengaluru South, instead of Ramanagara.
However, the then CM chose Ramanagara to keep his voters happy. Incidentally, the present CM, BS Yediyurappa, was his deputy chief minister when that decision was taken.
Ramanagara, which was known as “Close Pet” during the colonial period, has Asia’s largest silk market contributing thousands of crores in revenue, every year. It was at this place, also known as Ramgarh, where director Ramesh Sippy had shot the iconic Hindi film 'Sholay'. Hence, locals also refer to the area as 'Sholay Betta' or Sholay Hills.
Bidadi in the same district is an automobile hub with Japanese giant Toyota owning a huge manufacturing plant there. However, the industries have not gone beyond that.
Government sources say developing Ramanagara as an industrial hub is aimed at de-congesting Bengaluru, which is completely choked by now, and creating jobs for locals in rural areas around the state capital.
Reacting to the buzz around the name change, Kumaraswamy, who won from Ramanagara four times, said a mere change of name will not help the district.
Taking potshots at the government, the former CM said, "BJP claims that it is a party of Lord Rama. But, they are changing the name from Ramanagara to Nava Bengaluru. It is an insult to Rama. If they change the name, there will be serious consequences. I warn them".
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