Kundapur: The second phase of the Varahi Irrigation Project will be completed within 2 years, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. He was speaking after inaugurating the first phase of the Varahi Irrigation Project at Siddapura here on May 4.
“The first phase of the project will provide irrigation to 6,000 acres of land and after completing the second phase, it will extend to 40,000 acres. People need not fear about the project. The government is committed towards the completion of the project. The project was neglected due to lack of interest, now the Congress government has completed 60% of the project. The distribution channels are yet to be completed, but with the completion of the project, the aspirations and dreams of the farmers will be realized.”
The state government stressing the need of irrigation has allocated Rs 13,000 crores for the ongoing and pending irrigation projects. A total of Rs 1 lakh crore will be required to complete the projects.
He further said that the opposition is misleading people about the implementation of the Kasturirangan report. “The state government has submitted recommendations of the cabinet sub-committee formed under Ramanath Rai, the Minister for Forests, to the central government. The cabinet sub-committee has recommended the implementation of the report in the reserve forest and not in the areas where there is dense population. The people should not get carried away by misleading statements from the opposition parties.”
“The Gram Panchayat elections will be held as scheduled by the Election Commission. The government has no plans of postponing the elections. Certain amendments have been made to the Panchayat Raj Act: the tenure of the president’s office has been increased to 5 years from the earlier 2.5 years and is also applicable to the Taluk Panchayat; women and men will have 50:50 representation in the elections; voting has been made compulsory for the Panchayat elections. The Congress-led state government believes in democracy,” he added.
“The state government has fulfilled 100 promises out of the 165 that were promised in the election manifesto. The Department of Food and Civil Supplies has released 1.8 crore BPL cards. Government will be providing free rice to BPL card holders. Rice and wheat grains will be distributed to the APL card holders at discounted rates.” He also said that the online process for providing BPL and APL cards has been opened. “The intention behind giving free rice to the poor is that, the government wants them to lead a dignified life. Government is providing Rs 350 as support price per ton to sugar cane growers.”
“The government desires to revive the Bramhavar Sugar factory. However, a viability report will be sought for the same. The decision will be made after discussions with the farmers,” he added. “Necessary amendments are to be made to the Revenue Department regarding the Kumki land; problem related to this issue could be solved after making the amendments. The Paschimavahini project facilitating construction of a series of vented dams on rivers will be implemented after discussions and consultations.”
Hitting hard on the opposition for their absence during the inauguration of the Varahi project, the CM said that the opposition needs to present their valid criticism in the programme but “they are busy misleading people”. He also said that Shobha Karnadlaje needs to highlight the issues with the central government on the Kasturirangan report rather than passing the buck to the state government as the report was submitted to the center.
Vinay Kumar Sorake, Minister for Urban Development and Minister in-charge District; M.B Patil, Minister for Water Resources; Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes; Byndoor MLA Gopal Poojary; MLC Pratpchandra Shetty; Veronica Cornelio, President Mysore Soaps and Detergents Limited; U R Sabhapati, ZP Member Mamatha Shetty; Basavaraj and others were present.