Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said on Wednesday that the State government has decided to allocate Rs. 12 crore for the reviving the Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory at Brahmavar in Udupi district in the first phase.

He was speaking after distributing various facilities (worth Rs. 12 crore) of 15 government departments to 8,660 poor beneficiaries at the Town Hall here.

Mr. Sorake said Rs. 12 crore would be used to pay the dues of farmers, salaries of factory workers, and loans of cooperative societies. The State government was giving priority to expediting the Varahi Irrigation Project in the district to give a fillip to agriculture. He held three meetings on the issue with Ministers for Irrigation and Forests and Environment in Bangalore. A meeting of farmers would be called later in Brahmavar to encourage them to grow sugarcane.

A lot of arecanut farmers in the district incurred heavy losses due to the ‘Kole Roga’ or Mahali disease affecting their arecanut palms. Hence, the government had released Rs. 3.5 crore as relief to these farmers in the first phase. An additional Rs. 3.5 crore would be released soon for this purpose.

Priority would be given to providing land sites to the poor under various schemes, Mr. Sorake said.

The insistence on Forms 9 and 11 of Karnataka Panchayat Raj Rules (Taxes and Fees) was creating a lot of inconvenience to the people to sell and buy land in the rural areas in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, and Kodagu districts.

“We will simplify the rules of selling and buying land in rural areas,” Mr. Sorake said.

K. Jayaprakash Hegde, Udupi-Chikamagalur MP, said the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had agreed to provide relief to coconut farmers, whose coconut palms had been affected by diseases in the State. Officials should encourage farmers to take up individual projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) Scheme in the district.

Four more Aadhaar enrolment centres had been started in the Udupi, he said.

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