Seeking implementation of Mahadayi project, farmers stage protest, push for clearance

Pralhad Joshi says govt. is committed to the implementation of the project

August 19, 2023 09:35 pm | Updated 09:36 pm IST - HUBBALLI

Farmers submitting a memorandum to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in front of his residence in Hubballi on Saturday.

Farmers submitting a memorandum to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in front of his residence in Hubballi on Saturday. | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

Seeking early forest and ecological clearances for execution of the work on Mahadayi-Kalasa Banduri Nala Project, and demanding fulfilment of their various demands, scores of farmers held a protest in Hubballi on Saturday.

The farmers, under the aegis of Malaprabha-Mahadayi-Kalasa Banduri Raita Horata Samiti, Navalgund, first held a demonstration at Kittur Chennamma Circle and then they proceed to the residence of Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, where they again staged a demonstration.

Four decades

Raising slogans against the delay in granting requisite clearances for the Kalasa Banduri Nala project, the farmers said that despite an over four-decade long agitation, the issue had not been resolved yet. They said although after several months had passed after approval for the DPR (Detailed Project Report), clearances had not been given by the Union government for initiating the work.

They also said that several of the farmers’ long-pending demands had not been met. They urged the State and Union governments to take necessary steps to term the districts of North Karnataka as drought-hit. They also pointed out that despite the announcement on loan waivers, the farmers were yet to get the benefits due to technical reasons and nationalised banks were not giving loans to the farmers who had availed benefits under one time settlement.

After the demonstration before Mr. Joshi’s residence led by farmers’ leaders Sippa Muppayyanavar, Subhashchandragouda Patil, Siddalingappa Hallur, Viranna Neeralagi, Laxman Bakkai and others, they submitted a memorandum to the Minister seeking his intervention.

Speaking to presspersons after speaking to the farmers, Mr. Joshi said that the Centre was committed to the implementation of the Mahadayi-Kalasa Banduri project and it was the BJP led-Union government which had issued a gazette notification on the Tribunal Award and cleared the DPR.

Stating that there was no delay in issuing clearances, the Minister pointed out that there were still some issues before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT). “After the setting up of the NGT, there have been stricter rules for clearances. The issue of the tiger corridor has also been raised by Goa. The State Wildlife Board also has to give its clearance and send it to the Centre, which has not been done so far. The State board should immediately send it to the Centre. We are also pursuing the matter at various levels to get the project cleared,” he said.

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