Staff Correspondent

Sudarshan lashes out at Government

Madikeri: Former Chairman of the Legislative Council and MLC V.R. Sudarshan on Monday lashed out at the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in the State for remaining "apathetic" towards the farmers affected by the Taraka reservoir crest gate collapse.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Sudarshan, who is leading a team comprising Ravi, MLC, Chandrappa, former MLA, and I.G. Sanadi, former MP, which is touring the rain-hit areas of the district, said Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy did not find time to visit the affected farmers. Despite remaining in Mysore, which was close to H.D. Kote, Mr. Kumaraswamy did not visit the affected farmers. He urged the Government to order an inquiry into the collapse of the crest gate.

Mr. Sudarshan criticised Water Resources Minister K.S. Eshwarappa for not visiting the taraka dam. Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who also did not visit the spot, was answerable to the people, Mr. Sudarshan said. Placing the Chief Engineer under suspension for the lapses would cut no ice, but listening to the people's difficulties and providing them help would have mattered the most. The apathy of the Ministers spoke of the neglect of the H.D. Kote area, Mr. Sudarshan alleged.

It was time to take stock of the safety of reservoirs in the State, he said.

Mr. Sudarshan criticised Kodagu in-charge Minister Ramachandra Gowda for not taking steps to release adequate funds to the district, which had suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 42 crore because of heavy rain. The Government had released only Rs. 5.14 crore, he added.

The Minister had failed to implement relief works through the district administration, he alleged. He would view the attitude of the Deputy Commissioner seriously for the delay in preparing an action plan for relief works. It spoke of the failure of the Minister to tackle problems of Kodagu, he said.

He sought to know why the district administration had stopped issuing provisional coffee registration certificates to farmers against which they obtained loans from banks.