STATES

Legislators demand implementation of irrigation projects at North Karnataka

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: The majority of the members spoke on pending irrigation projects and other development works of North Karnataka pressed for implementing the third phase of Upper Krishna Project (UKP). They appealed to the State government to put pressure on the Union government to issue gadget notification on the project and begin the land acquisition process at the earliest.

Initiating the discussion, Congress member M B Patil said, the land acquisition process has been vitiated due to confusion over the guidance value, the government should clear this and start though consent award by fixing the fair prices for the land. The project needed over 1.33 lakh acres of land to rehabilitate 18 submerging villages and part of Bagalkot town and construct the main and branch canals, for which the government should allocate Rs 51,000 crore.

Expressing his apprehension over the project getting a national tag, the former minister said, though it has all characteristics to become the national project as it was irrigating 12.5 lakh hectares of land against the norm of 2 lakh hectare, the inter-State dispute could fail to get that tag. So the State government should plan out to implement the project using its own resources, he stated.

Recalling the contribution of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in realising earlier phases of the UKP, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said, in the last eleven years only 22,309 acres of land has been acquired out of the needed 1.33 lakh acres. Also, the majority of the released Rs 13,320 crore for the project has been spent on building main canals, but not distributaries. Only some contractors have benefited from the project, but not farmers, he charged and appealed to the government to come up with a proper Resettlement and Rehabilitation plan.

In his intervention, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai apprised about the dispute on the water share that was pending in the Supreme Court and said, as the Telangana government has withdrawn its petition on redistributing the entire quantum of water between stakeholder states, the Central government shortly would file an affidavit before the court. As the hearing was scheduled early next month, the dispute could be resolved and later issuing of  notification on the project could be expected.

Replying to the members who spoke on Mahadayi diversion project, Bommai said, earlier confusion was on whether the DPR should be drafted for quantum of water aportanated by the tribunal or waiting for till the verdict on special leave petition, filed seeking increase in share, by the Apex court. Now, the government has decided to submit the revised DPR and efforts are on getting approval for it and also getting clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Taking part in the discussion, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa said irrigation projects were important for the progress of the NK region, but the majority of them are moving at snail pace because of one or the other reason. But the government was committed to implementing them, be it UKP and Mahadayi.

Raising issues pertaining to Kalyana Karnataka, Congress member Ishwar Khandre pressed for constituting Kalayana Karnataka Development Board and appointing members for it. Assuring to release Rs 1,500 crore for the region’s development, half of it has not been released; he said and appealed for releasing the remaining amount soon. He also requested for filling vacant posts in Veterinary University and Gulbarga University.

JD(S) member Bandeppa Kashempur reflected the plight of government schools and colleges in the KK region and even funds released under the Nanjundappa Committee recommendations failed to improve the situation in the region. Irrigation and healthcare infrastructure should be improved on priority and a package should be announced for developing Bidar into a tourism spot, he stressed.

Patients struggle to get health care 

Everyday, more then 200 patients from Karnataka visit Miraj town of Maharashtra which is popular for having many Multi-Specialty hospitals. Around 600 buses from Vijaypura, Bagalkote, Belagavi, Kalaburgi which ply between Miraj town and other towns of Karnataka everyday are stopped and this has affected badly to the people who want visit Miraj for health care service. On Wednesday, a Cancer patient who was travelling to Miraj from Vijaypura for treatment was not allowed by these Shiv sena workers. He was sent back despite pleading them to allow him to go Cancer hospital at Miraj.

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