Staff Reporter

Union Government includes six more districts in Karnataka

BANGALORE: Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister C.M. Udasi on Wednesday said that the Union Government had brought six more districts Bellary, Chikmagalur, Belgaum, Shimoga, Hassan and Kodagu under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), taking the number of districts covered in the State to 11.

The Minister told presspersons that the State Government had spent Rs. 230 crore out of the Rs. 274 crore that came from the Union Government in the five districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Davangere and Chitradurga under the scheme. He denied the Congress allegation that the funds had not been spent. Contractors were not involved in it and beneficiaries were paid through cheques, he added.

Mr. Udasi said that the Government was likely to get Rs. 30 crore for each of the six new districts. The Government had recommended Bijapur, Bellary, Haveri, Gadag, Koppal, Tumkur, Kolar and Chamarajanagar districts, but the Union Government had accepted only Bellary district. He said the State Government would not ask for a change in the districts chosen, as it would take time.

The Minister said that Rs. 155 crore had been released for 1,129 villages under the Suvarna Gramodaya programme. The Government had received proposals for development programmes for 427 villages in the districts of Chitradurga (32), Bagalkot (36), Raichur (47), Davangere (17), Bellary (32), Chikmagalur (30), Haveri (nine), Gulbarga (67), Shimoga (40), Hassan (56), Dakshina Kannada (22), Bijapur (34) and Bangalore Rural (five).

Cauvery Saras, an all-India sales mela under the Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, has been organised by the Union Government and the department at Malleswaram Government College Grounds, here on March 30.