Saturday, Jul 12, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Intervening during a discussion on the improper implementation of the drought relief programmes, Mr. Thimmappa said that the Union Government had sent a letter in June stating that over two lakh families could make use of the scheme.
As such, nearly 4.79 lakh families had benefited from it.
As for another scheme of the Union Government, Annapoorna, under which free foodgrains are distributed to senior citizens, Mr. Thimmappa said the State had not taken up the programme as it was giving pension to senior citizens, a disqualification for making use of the scheme.
Continuing the discussion on drought, M.R.Tanga (BJP) was critical of the State Government for making "dead investment" on irrigation projects such as Amarja, Bennethora, etc.
The Government was paying nearly Rs. 30 crore as interest every year for money borrowed for these projects which had "not irrigated even one acre of land".
Drought in the State had become frequent, and successive governments had not learnt lessons to find a permanent solution to it. Watershed development, recycling of water, prevention of pollution of water resources, etc., had to be given priority, he said.
P.Ramiah (nominated) said it was time the Government thought of insulating the drought-prone districts by taking up programmes, particularly drinking water supply.
There was need for a State-level permanent monitoring mechanism to deal with drought.
Mr. Ramiah said the Government should provide farmers with agricultural kits and other inputs during such crises.
It should make available to farmers drought-resistant varieties of crops and ensure adequate supply of fodder to fodder banks.
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