Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Minister for Horticulture and Prisons Umesh V. Katti on Tuesday assured Y.A. Narayana Swamy in the Legislative Council that the Government would help set up three mango processing units in Kolar district for the benefit of mango growers.

Replying to the member during Question Hour, the Minister said that this would be done with the help of private entrepreneurs from Belgaum.

Under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, mango development centres would be set up at horticulture farms in Hokalakere and Madikere in Srinivasapura and Chintamani taluks respectively, at a cost of Rs.19 crore. They would be set up in four years and tender process for the same had already begun.

Agriculture Minister S.A. Ravindranath informed K.T. Srikante Gowda (JD-S) and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Ugrappa that encroachment of six acres of land belonging to the Agriculture Research Farm in Dudda Hobli of Mandya district would be cleared. Mr. Gowda demanded that the farm be upgraded and declared as a science and knowledge centre. Cooperation Minister Lakshman Savadi told members that he would convene a meeting of the MLCs and officials for a discussion on streamlining the Yeshasvini health scheme, so that deserving farmers and poor people could get better service. Manohar Maski (BJP) alleged that the people from north Karnataka region had paid more premium to the scheme, but were denied services, whereas those in the southern part of the State were benefitting more.

Higher Education Minister Arvind Limbavali assured Basavaraj Horatti (JD-S) that his department had released Rs.18.46 crore to the polytechnics for clearing the salaries of teachers. Replying to him during Zero Hour, the Minister said electronic clearance system would be introduced in January.

Mr. Limbavali said that managements had been instructed to pay their share of 15 per cent towards the salaries and other expenses and warned that action would be initiated if they failed to implement it.