BJP accused of ignoring farmers, fishermen

Staff Correspondent

‘Upper Bhadra project must be dropped’

‘I have not sanctioned ship building yard’

‘No action has been taken on sugar factory’

Udupi: Former Minister and Congress nominee for the Udupi-Chikmagalur parliamentary Constituency K. Jayaprakash Hegde alleged on Thursday that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was ignoring the interests of farmers and fishermen in the State.

Mr. Hegde told presspersons here that the State Government was bent on implementing the Upper Bhadra Project channel and tunnel project despite opposition from farmers in Tarikere taluk of Chikmagalur district. While seeking the project to be dropped, he said the Government had failed to address the problems of coffee growers in Chikmagalur district.

He said that as Minister for Ports and Fisheries in the then J.H. Patel government he had only sanctioned the construction of a slipway at the Malpe Fisheries Harbour. This slipway would have helped the fishermen in hauling their boats for repairs. He said, he had not sanctioned the ship building yard by the Tebma Shipyards Ltd at Malpe.

“The BJP leaders should check the records before making baseless allegations. The State Government has the power to stop the construction of ship building yard at Malpe. But it is not doing so because senior BJP leaders are involved in the project,” he said.

He claimed that as a Minister, he had got the second stage of Malpe fisheries harbour, and the extension works of Gangolli and Hejmady fisheries harbours constructed. Although the BJP claimed to have sanctioned Rs. 12 crore for the third stage of Malpe fisheries harbour, it was still release the fund. “I am ready for a public debate with BJP leaders on these issues”, he said.

Although a lot of noise created over the revival of the Brahmavar Sugar Factory in Udupi district, the BJP was yet to initiate action in that direction. The dues of farmers and factory workers were yet to be cleared. Nothing had happened over the BJP government’s maiden budget promise of introducing monorail between Mangalore and Udupi, he said.

If elected, Mr. Hegde said, he would make efforts to get the Hassan-Mangalore Railway line connected with the Konkan Railway. Priority would be given to the construction of Chikmagalur-Kadur railway line and suggestion would be made for the construction of an alternative route to the existing Shirady Ghat Road, so that the two stretches could be used as one-way roads, he said.

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