Staff Correspondent

Implement water schemes: G.T. Deve Gowda

DemandsSpeed up highway widening workTackle problem of drinking water scarcityIncrease allocation for construction of houses under Ashraya scheme Allocate land for vegetable markets in the city

MYSORE: Ahead of H.D. Kumaraswamy's maiden visit to Mysore after assuming the post of Chief Minister, his close aide and Janata Dal (Secular) MLA representing Hunsur Assembly constituency G.T. Deve Gowda has placed a long list of demands for development of Mysore district. He has sought implementation of drinking water schemes and speedy completion of the Mysore-Bangalore highway project.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Gowda said a series of drinking water projects for Mysore district, including the Rs. 18-crore project to bring water to Hunsur town from K.R. Nagar, Rs. 14.5-crore project to supply drinking water to 56 villages around Yelawala and the one to supply drinking water to 107 villages in Nanjangud taluk, are pending Cabinet approval.

"I request the Chief Minister to give Cabinet approval for the drinking water projects in the next meeting," Mr. Gowda said.

He hoped that the Chief Minister will look into the problem of drinking water scarcity in Mysore city, and soon clear the Kabini and Melapura stage II drinking water schemes.

Mr. Gowda regretted the delay in work on the Mysore-Bangalore highway, which is being widened into a four-lane highway. "The highway widening work was scheduled to be completed by January. But works is still going on," he said.

Mr. Gowda appealed to the Chief Minister to ensure speedy completion of highway widening work. He requested the Chief Minister to extend the four-lane highway all the way up to Bannimantap in the city.

Mr. Gowda urged the Chief Minister to increase the allocation for construction of a house under the Ashraya scheme from the existing Rs 20,000 to at least Rs 25,000. The construction of Ashraya houses for the benefit of poor farmers should be taken up in all the areas of the district, he said.

Minor irrigation

Mr. Gowda said it is unfortunate that the administration has failed to release funds for minor irrigation in Cauvery Command Area. He urged the Government to immediately release Rs. 250 crores for desiltation of tanks and canals. "While no amount has been released for minor irrigation works in Cauvery Command Area, successive Governments have released up to Rs 1,000 crores for the purpose in north Karnataka."

Highlighting the elephant menace in villages near forests in the district, Mr Gowda said the Government should immediately take steps to erect fences along the forest boundary.

"I have held discussions in the regard with the Forest Minister and officials of the Forest Department. The fence, which could act as a retaining wall, can be constructed at a cost of Rs. 115 crores. Such a measure is necessary if wild elephants are to be prevented from entering villages and causing loss to crops and human lives", he said.

Move opposed

Mr. Gowda opposed the move to provide autonomy to K.R. Hospital in Mysore. He urged the Government to develop the hospital into a model Government health centre that caters to the medical needs of the poor.

Mr. Gowda requested the Chief Minister to allocate land for setting up fresh vegetable markets in four places in the city. "The vegetable markets should be easily accessible to residents of different areas," he said.

Mr. Gowda also sought a trauma centre in Mysore to save the lives of those injured in accidents.