Says dealers should not interfere in the matter

Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Minister in charge of the district, on Tuesday instructed Joint Director of Agriculture R.G. Gollar to ensure that the choice of fertilizer was left to farmers and traders did not interfere in the matter of selection. He asked Mr. Gollar to direct all fertilizer dealers not to force farmers to buy a particular combination.

Presiding over the tri-monthly Karnataka Development Programme review meeting here, Mr. Shivashankarappa said that he had information that in other districts dealers were supplying fertilizers that farmers wanted.

He asked Mr. Gollar to warn fertilizer dealers of stern action if they forced farmers to buy a particular fertilizer.

Earlier, Vadnal Rajanna, Chennagiri MLA, had alleged that dealers in the district were asking farmers to buy potash when they wanted to buy DAP. A few farmers who had purchased potash on the insistence of dealers had kept it in their houses unused. Many farmers in Chennagiri and Honnali had gone to Shimoga to buy fertilizers, he said.

Mr. Gollar said that mixed variety of fertilizer was needed for integrated nutrition management and restoration of soil quality and, therefore, the dealers might have asked the farmers to buy different kinds of fertilizer like potash. Mr. Shivashankarappa said that farmers were aware of their requirement and they should be allowed to purchase the fertilizer of their choice.

Many legislators, including H.S. Shivashankar, Rajanna, D.G. Shanthana Gowda and M.P. Ravindra, urged Mr. Gollar to extend the deadline for seed distribution as a majority of farmers who were going in for late sowing needed seeds. Mr. Shivashankarappa also instructed Mr. Gollar to continue supply of seeds at subsidised rates for one more week.

Executive Engineer of the engineering division in zilla panchayat said that there were 798 villages and 1,334 habitations in the 230 gram panchayats of the district. Of the over 4,540 water bodies in the district, 2,050 had potable water and 759 were chemically affected and unfit for human consumption. More than 33 multi-village schemes had been taken up so far to provide potable water to villages where the available water sources were chemically affected.

S.S. Mallikarjun, MLA and former Minister, asked chief executive officer of zilla panchayat A.B. Hemachandra to get a master plan prepared for providing potable water to all villages from nearby sources and promised that he would get grants released from the government.

Later, Mr. Mallikarjun asked district health officer Sumitra Devi to ensure that none of the primary health centres functioned without a doctor.

He also asked her to appoint doctors on contract wherever needed. He said that he had received a number of complaints of doctors being absent in primary health centres and directed her to address the problem immediately. It was resolved at the meeting to send a proposal to the government to include non-officials in surveillance committees that had been set up to oversee sand extraction and transportation from Tungabhadra river in the district.

Continued display of name-boards of previous legislators and Ministers on public buildings, schools and anganawadi centres figured in the meeting and the MLAs insisted that such boards be removed immediately.

Mr. Shivashankar said that it was unfair on the part of former legislators to keep their name-boards on buildings constructed with development funds of MPs and MLAs. All such funds were released by the government and therefore legislators’ names should not be displayed on buildings, he said. After a prolonged discussion, Deputy Commissioner S.S. Pattanashetty said that he would examine the guidelines and then take an appropriate decision in the matter.