KARNATAKA

BJP demands White Paper on irrigation projects

Implement the Halebid-Madihalli Lift Irrigation Scheme, Government urged

Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: Accusing the coalition Government of neglecting the irrigation sector, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday urged Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh to issue a White Paper on the progress of irrigation projects in the State.

Mr. Yediyurappa was here to participate in a padayatra organised by the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to press the Government to implement the decade-old Halebid-Madihalli Lift Irrigation Scheme.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Yediyurappa alleged that the coalition Government is apathetic to the irrigation sector. While States such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are completing irrigation projects to claim their right over the waters of the Cauvery and the Krishna, the State Government has not understood the importance of water utilisation, he said. He also said he will take a delegation to Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and Minister for Water Resources M. Mallikarjun Kharge to apprise them on the need to implement the project.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the State can get 600 tmcft more of water on the completion of languishing projects. He commended the efforts of the late Chief Minister Veerendra Patil for taking up irrigation projects under the Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi reservoirs. Providing statistics to substantiate his statement on the slow progress of development works, Mr. Yediyurappa said though the Government has earmarked Rs. 3,629.81 crores for the development of water resources, it has spent only Rs. 1,019.28 crores. The situation is no different with the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. While Rs. 1,647 crores has been earmarked for various projects, only Rs. 518 crores has been utilised, he said. Of the Rs. 567 crores set aside for the Department of Social Welfare, only Rs. 77 crores has been spent, he added. He said the BJP has convened a meeting of its legislators and MPs, to discuss these issues, on October 5. Senior party leaders Suresh Kumar, Ramachandre Gowda, Abbas Ali Bora and Shobha Karandlaje, were present.

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