In the second part of the ‘Know Your Smart Cities’ web series on the 98 cities that have been shortlisted to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time, we look at the six chosen cities in Karnataka and one in Kerala
The twin cities of Hubbali and Dharwad in North Karnataka are a unique blend as a hub for business and education. Reputed for its contribution to the Kannada literature and Hindustani Music, Dharwad houses the Karnatak University, while Hubbali is known for being a trading hub, with connections in Bengaluru and Mumbai. The major agricultural commodities traded here are cotton and oil seeds. The twin cities are a stronghold of the politically dominant Lingayat community. Hubbali is also the headquarters of the South Western Railway and has a bus manufacturing unit of Tata Motors.
Considered one of the most progressive cities of Karnataka, Mangaluru has a 100 per cent literacy rate. The city has contributed significantly to the banking industry, and has a mix of Christian, Muslim and Hindu population, due to the influence of multiple rulers in history. The city is a major exporter of human resources to Mumbai and Bengaluru. Mangaluru Port handles exports of iron ore, coffee, spices and petroleum products.
The second-largest city in Karnataka, Belagavi has been a political hub since the pre-Independence days. The city hosts Karnataka’s legislative sessions outside of the state-headquarters in Bengaluru. There have been several attempts from Maharashtra to stake claim to this city, which has a large Marathi-speaking population. In 2006, Karnataka named the city its second state capital.
ALSO READ: Know your smart city: MaharashtraThe cosmopolitan city, with a moderate climate, is home to several educational institutions and an Army cantonment. While the region is known for sugarcane and peanut cultivation, Belagavi has a privately run SEZ for aerospace components and systems, besides several precision engineering units supplying components to auto makers in Pune.
Referred to as the cradle of socialist movement in Karnataka by many, Shivamoga is located in the hilly Malnad region. It is rich in agriculture has also contributed to the Kannada literature. A largely agrarian region, Shivamoga has limited industrialisation. Efforts to build an airport in recent years have had little success. Shivamoga has produced several political leaders in Karnataka.
Once a textile hub, Davanagere is now largely known for being a centre for education. Located closer to a cotton-cultivating region, the city has a few cotton mills. Several medical and engineering colleges are located here. The state government controls this city through a deputy commissioner.
Located outside Bengaluru and on the highway to Mumbai, Tumakuru is among the more industrialised cities of Karnataka. It has several factories, mainly producing engineering goods. The city is also an education hub, with medical and engineering colleges. Tumakuru is also a pilgrimage destination, housing the Siddaganga mutt, famous for its initiatives in education.
Kerala’s commercial hub, Kochi is a port city that has seen growth due to increased exports of spices from the region. The city also has one of the highest concentrations of luxury cars in the country, thanks to locals converting agricultural land to real estate projects and remittances from migrants in the Gulf region. A Metro transport network is in the works to decongest the city. The Kerala government has been working on a comprehensive city development plan that projects growth of the city till 2013.