48-day dharna ends as desilting of Chitravati begins
A sit-in launched by members of the Chitravati Horata Samiti ended after 48 days, with the Karnataka Water Supply and Sewerage Board (KWSSB) taking up work on desilting Chitravati barrage at Paragodu on the town’s outskirts on Wednesday.
Organisations of farmers and progressive leaders began the strike for an indefinite period, demanding desilting of the barrage. They staged protests and blocked the National Highway 7. Besides, they called for ‘Bagepalli bandh’ on November 8 and 9.
Responding to the protests, the KWSSB directed the NPCC, the firm which was awarded the contract for construction of Chitravati, to desilt the barrage before November 5.
If the firm failed to execute the order, Shubhwells, another company, was asked to start the work. The district contractors, in a written agreement, promised to desilt the barrage, said Mohammad Akram, president of the Samiti.
The KWSSB officials on Tuesday took up the work on desilting the barrage, using tipper and earth-moving equipment. The bandh has been called off now, said Govardhanachari, vice-president of the Samiti.
The protests will be intensified if the government and the KWSSB officials continued to be apathetic in future, he told Deccan Herald.
The members, who staged the protests for nearly one-and-a-half month were jubilant and celebrated the victory for their agitation by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.