Tata project dashes 'Tunga dreams'

A farmer points to marking stone in his land identified for construction of a sub-canal in Agadi in Haveri. DH Photo

Haveri farmers have been dreaming of the Tunga project for the past 25 years. It has already irrigated lands in Hirekerur and Ranebennur taluks and Tunga waters are yet to reach Haveri taluk. Upon completion, the project would irrigate 25,000 hectares of land in the taluk. However, the Tata project has dashed all such hopes as sub-canals of the irrigation project would have to be diverted to facilitate construction of the steel plant.

Survey work done

Around 2,580 acres of land in Agadi, Machapur and Budagatti villages of Haveri taluk have been identified for setting up of the steel plant. The area has also been surveyed for construction of sub-canals of Tunga Upper Bank project. Corporate interest would obviously surpass agrarian priorities. “It is inevitable to alter the route of sub canals in view of the proposed steel plant plan,” according to Rudraiah, the Chief Engineer of Tunga Upper Bank Project. Consequently, more than 200 farmers would be denied of the irrigation facility.

The Government decided to alter the route of sub-canals as soon as the steel plant proposal came up. Deputy Commissioner H G Srivara had said Tunga waters would be made available for the district, albeit on an alternative route.

The farmers are yet undecided on parting with their land for the project. “The decision to change the route of sub-canals is not right. Tunga project would usher in remarkable change in agriculture in the taluk,” Malatesh, a farmer, said.

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