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‘Water loss from canals will be checked’

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Basavaraj Bommai
Basavaraj Bommai

Special Correspondent

Basavaraj Bommai says experts have been asked to submit a report

Maski expresses concern over accumulation of silt in Tungabhadra dam

Government urged to allow APMCs to take up online trading of farm produce

BANGALORE: Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday told the Legislative Council that the Government would soon get a report from experts on the strategy to be adopted by Karnataka to reduce water loss from irrigation canals due to evaporation and various other reasons.

Intervening during the discussion on rural development, Mr. Bommai said that such water loss in Karnataka was estimated to be 30 to 35 per cent as against the 50 to 60 per cent in some other States as cited by a report of the Planning Commission.

Karnataka had asked some experts to look into the issue, and they would submit a report soon. The Government would initiate action after that, he said.

It was possible to meet the entire demand for irrigation in the country if the water loss was checked, he said.

Mr. Manohar Maski (BJP) suggested that the Government should allow APMCs to take up online trading of farm produce to ensure that farmers got remunerative prices. The APMCs could commence such online trading if the Government sets up an agency to grade and also certify the agricultural produce traded by them, he noted.

Mr. Maski expressed concern that the accumulation of silt in the Tungabhadra reservoir, which is the lifeline of Raichur, Koppal and Bellary districts, had reduced the dam’s water storage by 30 tmcft.

‘Raise dam height’

This had further reduced the extent of command area. He suggested that the Government raise the height of the reservoir to increase the storage capacity or desilt the dam, or build small balancing reservoirs linking the left bank canal.

He also suggested allowing corporate farming on wastelands in different parts of the State to take up cultivation of bio-fuel plants.

S.R. Patil (Congress) suggested that the Government encourage bright students, gold medallists and rank-holders to take up farming instead of the present practice where those who failed in academics normally took to agriculture.

Encouraging bright minds to take up farming was a must as agriculture was not only becoming a complex subject of late, but was also crucial from the point of view of food security, he said.

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