STATES

Just five days left, but winter session of Assembly yet to take up North Karnataka issues

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: The ten-day winter session of the Legislature, which is going on in Belagavi, was expected to address issues concerning the development of North Karnataka, but no discussion has taken place in the first week of the session.

While less than 50 per cent of the legislators are in attendance, there is no room left to discuss issues of North Karnataka in the remaining five days of the session.

The first week of the session was rocked by land-grabbing allegations against elected representatives of BJP and the ‘rape’ remark made by senior Congress leader Ramesh Kumar. Opposition members raised questions over crop loss, damage to property due to rain and floods and compensation being paid to those affected in North Karnataka, but there was no positive response from the government.

The government wants to use the remaining five days to pass anti-conversion and love jihad bills. But opposition parties are planning to stall these pieces of legislation in both Houses through protests and forcing adjournments.

Amid this, farmer groups too are planning a massive protest demanding the rollback of farm laws passed by the state. With these possibilities, both Houses may not allocate any time to discuss issues related to North Karnataka.

Belagavi North MLA Anil Benake said, “One week of the session has passed in discussions other than North Karnataka issues. We will see whether these discussions will be taken up from Monday. If not, we will raise our voice and protest demanding the debate.”

Some of the major demands of the North Karnataka region are: Execution of the Mahadayi project, which is expected to provide drinking water to Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi, and pending for the last two decades; implementation of Upper Krishna Project Phase 3 which will irrigate lakhs of hectares of land; shifting of sub-divisional offices to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha to keep it busy and help the people of North Karnataka get their work done quicker; setting up of an IT-BT park in Belagavi, allowing thousands of skilled youth from the region get jobs; suitable compensation to farmers who have suffered huge losses due to heavy and untimely rain; fair and remunerative prices for sugarcane, which is a major cash crop, and payment of dues to farmers; a district status for Chikkodi, which has been pending for a decade; completion of various lift irrigation projects, including Khilegaon project in Athani, Veerabhadreshwara project in Ramdurg, lake refilling projects and others; land acquisition for the Belagavi-Kittur railway line; and construction of Ballari Nala, a major sewage line passing through Belagavi city and setting up of a sewage treatment plant.

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