Any development work related to agriculture will bring a smile to the faces of farmers. No less than 30,000 farmers in 12 villages under the limits of Chamarajanagar and Yelandur taluks had a reason to express their happiness when the Water Resources Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, opened the gates of the Honganur-Hirikere lift irrigation project executed at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore at Honganur village in Chamarajanagar taluk recently.
The project was conceived in 1999 and the then Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, laid the foundation stone. It aims to provide irrigation facilities to a 2000-acre command area of Honganur-Hirikere which is at a distance of 2.5 km from the Kabini right bank main canal. The efforts of former Kerala Governor, Late B. Rachaiah, and his son, former Santhemaralli MLA and present chairman of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation, A.R. Krishna Murthy, contributed a lot to the project. The work started with many difficulties and was stopped many times for various reasons. The project was started before the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Niyamith came into being. The original contractor was replaced since he failed to get the work done regularly and the new contractor came into the picture after the Cauvery Niravari Nigam Niyamit was established.
The then Santhemaralli MLA and present MP, R. Dhruvanarayan, had put pressure on the Government to continue the project work. The work got completed during the tenure of the present Kollegal MLA, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, after a span of 12 years.
Now the farmers living in Honganur, Masanapura, H.Mookalli, Chatipura, Kallipura, Bettahalli, Irasavadi, Suttur, Gangavadi, Dasanahundi and Yeragamballi villages can cultivate paddy on 2,000 acres of land.
Inaugurating this project, Mr. Basavaraj Bommai said the farmers of the Cauvery command area are suffering a lot due to an agreement made 200 years ago. They faced restrictions in utilising water stored in tanks and reservoirs. He said the Cauvery Tribunal had put an halt to the implementation of the Kabini second stage lift irrigation project work. He hoped that the State’s people will get some good news after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on implementing the Kabini second stage lift irrigation project work. He said the Government intends to take up sprinkle lift irrigation wherever there is a shortage of water in the Cauvery command area as this would save a lot of water.
The Government had already implemented one such project at Shiggavi in Haveri district. A total of 26,000 acres had been covered under sprinkle lift irrigation in the State. Steps had been taken to strengthen the reservoirs in the State at an estimate of Rs.600 crore, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.A.R. Krishna Murthy said he was happy that his father’s dream had been realised.
He said the project was started when J.H. Patel was the Chief Minister and K.L. Nage Gowda was the Major Irrigation Minister. He said though engineers rejected the Honganur-Hirikere project on technical grounds, K.L. Nage Gowda, felt it was feasible and hence sanctioned it. He also remembered those who made efforts to implement this project.