Hundreds of farmers from Jewargi and Yadrami taluks staged protests with their bullock carts in Jewargi on Monday demanding that the Mallabad Lift Irrigation Project be implemented expeditiously.
Organised under the banner of Jewargi-Yadrami Taluk Farmers Horata Samithi, the farmers came with their bullock carts and took out a procession through the major streets of the town before staging the dharna outside the taluk administrative complex.
They raised slogans against the previous Congress government and the current BJP government for not paying attention to the irrigation project that will help irrigate over one lakh acres in both the taluks.
“Mallabad Lift Irrigation Project is a part of the Upper Krishna Project. The project was approved in 2006 and the work started in 2012. It was supposed to be completed in 2015. But, owing to the lethargy of the successive governments, it has remained incomplete even after a decade. The project, if completed, will irrigate over one lakh acres in 36 villages of Jewargi and Yadrami taluks,” Horata Samithi convenor Mahesh Rathod said during the agitation.
He added that the farmers have been protesting for the quick implementation of the irrigation project for the last 40 days. They also took out a padayatra from Yalwar Cross to Jewargi town on December 13 last year to bring the issue to the notice of the government.
“In fact, the farmers started the agitation when the Congress government was in power. Jewargi MLA Ajay Singh met the agitating farmers and told them that he will see that the project was implemented. Before he could do something, his party lost the Assembly elections. Neither the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government nor the BJP government that assumed power later has done anything to take the project forward. Mr. Ajay Singh cannot raise his voice in the Assembly in favour of the project. He should better join the agitating farmers to press for the demand,” Mr. Rathod said.
During the day-long agitation outside the Yadrami Taluk Office, officers concerned held several rounds of meeting with the agitating farmers. However, the farmers were consistent on their demand.
The farmers also raised the issue of red gram crop loss due to wilt disease in the district and demanded compensation of ₹50,000 per acre of destroyed crop. A memorandum was later submitted to Tahsildar Rajeshwari P.S.
Leaders Babu Patil, Mallannagouda Patil, Gurunath Sahu, Ibrahim Patel, Modin Inamdar, Raja Patel and B.H. Malipatil participated in the agitation.