Parched people pin hopes on budget

Permanent irrigation

A permanent irrigation facility for the district has taken over precedence over all other considerations - even the farm budget -  in the district. Public pressure has intensified for a irrigation scheme over the past year. The Action Committee for Permanent Irrigation has held demonstations, bundh, protests to put pressure on the government.

However, all that the people got was an assurance during the recent visit of the Chief Minister to the City. Yeddyurappa didn’t give any hint on reserving funds for the project. All that he said was that  steps would be taken for implementation of an irrigation project. However, people are still optimistic of a budgetary allocation.

Amid all the struggle for water, the mute question that has remained unanswered is - the source of water. None has a definite answer for the question. Till last year it was demanded that Dr G S Paramashivaiah report on supplying water from Western Ghats be implemented. But the struggle has taken a new dimension this year. It is now being demanded to supply water from Western Ghats or any other source. Even the prominent call during the February 14 bundh was water from any source.

There was no specific reference to Dr Paramashivaiah report. It neither figured in the memorandum which the Adichunchanagiri seer submitted to the chief minister, on behalf of the water activists. The government too has adopted an enigmatic silence on the feasibility of giving effect to the report.

The government is yet to pay Rs eight crore to ISRO which conducted satellite-based study on the report.

Meanwhile, Union Law Minister has assured to supply water from Ettinahole in Sakleshpur, before 2014. He has hinted at a two-phase project. In the first phase, the district would get eight tmc ft water through pipelines, at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore. He had said that Paramashivaiah report will be considered for the second phase.

Moily had promised water to the district in three months and the deadline has now been extended by about three years. Lok Sabha elections are scheduled in 2014 and the project may prove to be a vote-catcher, if implemented. Given that it is a government project, public are sceptical of a time-bound implementation.

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