Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat in its council meeting on Monday decided to urge the government not to drop 20 multi-village water supply projects proposed by the panchayat in various taluks of the district.

The panchayat’s decision followed after a senior official hinted in the meeting that the government was unlikely to approve the projects.

A delegation headed by B. Ramanath Rai, Minister for Forests, Environment, Ecology and in-charge of the district would try to impress upon the head of the government to not shelve the projects. The date of the meeting with the head of the government would be decided in consultation with the minister. In addition to three ministers and MLAs of the district, zilla panchayat members and the Member of Parliament would be part of the delegation.

The Executive Engineer of the panchayat S. L. Sathyanarayana told the meeting that the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee has returned six proposals to the State Technical Agency (STA) asking it to review the approval given for the projects proposed to be implemented in Bantwal taluk.

The official said the committee believed that there was no need for multi-village water supply projects in Dakshina Kannada which received an average annual rainfall of 4,000 mm. In addition, the multi-village water supply projects were meant to those districts where source of drinking water was contaminated with contents like chloride and arsenic. Dakshina Kannada is believed to be free from such hazards.

The six projects would cover villages under the jurisdiction of Sajeepamunnur, Karopady, Narikombu, Mani, Sangabettu, and Sarapady gram panchayats.

He said that the remaining 14 proposals were yet to be placed before the STA.

The members said that if six proposals had been sent back on this ground the remaining proposals might also face the same fate.

Kinnigoli project

Mr. Sathyanarayana said that a multi-village water supply project at Kinnigoli in Mangalore taluk which had been sanctioned more than two years ago was nearing completion. It would be commissioned in December. Its trial run would commence in 10 days.

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat in its meeting on Monday passed a resolution seeking Rs. 50,000 as compensation per acre of areca plantations hit by fruit-rot disease (kole roga).

In another resolution it urged the government to waive crop loans of areca growers up to Rs. 1 lakh. Yogesh H. R., Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture said that the government has so far released Rs. 20 crore as compensation for arecanut growers in the district. The affected farmers were getting Rs. 4,800 as compensation per acre. In all, 40,598 farmers have applied for compensation.

The Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni said the government had promised to release additional compensation.