Vinay Kumar Sorake, Urban Development Minister, said on Wednesday that steps were being taken to expedite the Varahi Irrigation Project in the district. Mr. Sorake said that though the project had been started three decades ago, it was progressing at a snail’s pace. Already Rs. 500 crore had been spent on the project. He had held a meeting of the officials to speed up the project. Priority was being given to provide irrigation to 8,000 hectares of land through the Left bank canal.

The Agumbe Ghat road which connected Udupi and Shimoga cities would be widened. This would ensure faster connectivity between the two cities. He had already spoken to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and to the Public Works Minister H.C. Mahadevappa on this issue, he said. The Manipal-Hiriyadka-Guruvayanakere-Dharmasthala-Gundia road would also be widened. The Detailed Project Report for widening the Manipal-Hiriyadka-Bajpe Airport road had been taken up.

From next month, boiled rice would be given to below the poverty line (BPL) cardholders in the district under the ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme.

Arecanut growers

The State government had released a grant of Rs. 6.5 crore to be distributed to the arecanut growers, whose crop had been damaged due to heavy rains. An amount of Rs. 171 crore was expected from the National Horticulture Mission. When that amount came, it too would be distributed to the affected arecanut growers. The State government was expecting Rs. 10,500 crore from the Union government through various schemes for the development of cities and towns in the State. Of the 822 persons who had applied for title deeds in the district, 509 had been given lands. Around 91 acres of land had been reserved in the district to be distributed to the landless persons.

The government was thinking of providing electricity supply to villages in remote areas of the district under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme. Though a uniform sand mining policy was being planned to be implemented in the State, the legislators from the Coastal districts had sought exemption on the grounds that sand was being mined manually.

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