Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah has urged Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishveshvara Hegde Kageri to withdraw the decision to close down government primary schools saying that it would lead to increased school dropouts in rural areas, which, in turn, would result in child labour.

Speaking to presspersons here, he urged the Government to provide suitable infrastructure such as buildings, libraries, playgrounds and good teachers to such schools.

Under the Right to Education Act, the Government should ensure education to all children up to SSLC, he said and added that the Union Government was meeting 65 per cent of grants, which the State Government should utilise properly.

Letter

In a letter to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that a paltry amount of Rs. 2.5 crore of Rs. 955.47 crore had been spent on power projects during the financial year. He said that it only showed the lack of seriousness on the part of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in addressing the power crisis.

Farming hit

He said that 20 lakh irrigation pumpsets had been deprived of quality power and crops in 50 lakh acres of irrigated land went without water. He said that sowing had been taken up in less than 50 per cent of the targeted agricultural land, and 34 per cent of tanks had dried up. Life in rural areas had been hit due to load-shedding for over nine hours a day.

The power companies were supplying three phase power only for three hours, he said and added that in some taluks, it was only for one hour.

White Paper

Mr. Siddaramaiah demanded that the legislature be immediately convened to discuss all these issues and also a White Paper on the power scenario in the State.

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