Special Correspondent

It is meant to augment surface and groundwater availability

Project is being implemented in five districts

It will be extended to five more districts soon

BANGALORE: The State Government will extend the World Bank-aided Sujala Watershed Project to five more districts to augment surface and groundwater availability, Minister for Agriculture Bandeppa Kashempur has said.

In a reply to D.R. Patil (Congress) during question hour in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, he said the Rs. 677.73-crore World Bank-aided project was being implemented in the drought-prone districts of Kolar, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Haveri and Dharwad since 2001.

The project would be extended to Gulbarga, Bidar, Koppal, Gadag and Chamarajanagar districts. Discussion had already been held with World Bank officials. The community-driven project was aimed at addressing issues such as farm productivity and expanding the area under faming and horticultural activities, he said.

Book controversy

Home Minister M.P. Prakash said the Government would announce its decision next week on the demand to ban the book ‘Anudeva Horaganavanu’ authored by Banjagere Jayaprakash.

Many members of the Lingayat community have demanded that the Government ban the book for what they consider derogatory references to the social reformer Basaveshwara.

In a reply to Vaijnath Patil during zero hour, he said the Government had constituted a fact-finding committee headed by Karnataka Sahitya Academy president Geetha Nagabhushan to study the contents of the controversial book. The panel had submitted a report.

Naxalites

The Home Minister said the Government would soon take a decision on providing a job to a family member of Assistant Sub-Inspector B.A. Venkatesh who was killed in an encounter with suspected naxalites near Agumbe.

Replying to Araga Jnanendra (BJP) during zero hour, he said the bullets retrieved from Venkatesh’s body had been sent for forensic tests to find out whether they had been fired by the suspected naxalites or the police.

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