Team formed by Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda to study drought

A team of Ministers, which visited several places in Kolar district to study the drought situation, on Tuesday faced the ire of the people for the alleged failure of the administration to supply adequate drinking water as well as fodder for cattle.

The team comprising Home Minister R. Ashok, Urban Development Minister S. Suresh Kumar, Agriculture Minister S.A. Ravindranath, Labour Minister Bachche Gowda and Textiles and district in-charge Minister Varthur Prakash visited Sugatur, Jannaghatta, Muduvadi, Panasamakanahalli in Kolar, Srinivaspur, Bangarpet and Mulbagal taluks where the people vent their ire.

The study team encountered the wrath of the people at the very beginning of its tour. Residents of Tondala village gathered at the Inspection Bungalow from where the Ministers started their tour. The villagers demanded proper arrangements for supply of drinking water.

The team had to encounter a similar situation at many places. At Muduvadi, a group of women holding empty vessels in their hands raised slogans and blocked the team. In Jannaghatta, a large number of women gathered to collect water at the tube well near the gram panchayat office.

“We get water only twice a week,” Tulasamma, a farm worker, said. Gram Panchayat vice president Rukmini also joined the women to express anguish over insufficient water supply.

Permanent solution

Shankare Gowda, a farmer of Sugatur who was waiting to throw light on the prevailing condition in the village, said that a permanent irrigation water project based on G.S. Paramashivaiah report alone will solve the problem of the region. “There will be no use by investing crores of rupees unless a permanent irrigation project is implemented, he added.

The visit of the team formed by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda came in for criticism from the people.

“The Ministers did not spend much time hearing grievances of the residents. What is the use of such perfunctory visits in the name of studying drought?” T.M. Venkatesh, Jannaghatta Gram Panchayat member, asked.

“Except for drinking water problem, the Ministers did not give attention to other grievances,” he added.

At several places, people expressed dissatisfaction over the cancellation of ration cards and improper supply of grains through the Public Distribution System (PDS), while the whole district was reeling under severe drought.

Non payment of wages to labourers who worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme in 2009-10 was also criticised.

Legislators G.K. Venkatashiva Reddy, M. Narayanaswamy, S.N. Krishnaiah Setty, D.S. Veeraiah, zilla panchayat president N. Manjula, Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Rajendra Cholan accompanied the team.

The team members, particularly Mr. Suresh Kumar, told the people not to garland them.

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