Agro Centre issue goes to Sharad Pawar

Horticulture varsity VC, former minister write to Union Minister for a solution soon

Fertile grounds: The College of Horticulture functions in the 40-acre jackfruit field in the tamaka on the outskirts of Kolar City. DH photoDr S B Dandina, vice-chancellor of the University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot, and K Srinivas Gowda, former minister, have written a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, seeking a solution to the problems in setting up the Agricultural Research Centre in the district.

The establishment of the Centre will benefit thousands of farmers all over Kolar district, but it has been delayed due to technical problems as well as indecision regarding a proper site and provision of facilities to the Centre.

Right site

The Central Government is searching for proper sites in each district, to start similar centres. Members of the committee set up to manage the establishment of the Centre visited Kolar recently and inspected the campus of the College of Horticulture.

They had even decided to open the Centre on the campus, situated in a 40-acre jackfruit field in survey nos 166 and 115 in the tamaka in Kolar city.

The problem, however, is that the land belongs to the University of Horticultural Sciences and the State Government. This is the chief hurdle in establishment of the Centre in Kolar city.

Hoping to solve the problem, Dr Dandina and Gowda wrote to Pawar and even met him once to discuss the issue.

Background

Following a request by the University to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute for such a centre, a committee had visited the district. The deputy director general had also written a letter, requesting transfer of the land accounts to the name of the University.

Dr Dandina had written to Pawar on February 7, in response to the request.

He had said the Government does not move the ownership of land belonging to any University, Department or College. The land of the College of Horticulture is owned by the Karnataka State Horticulture Development Federation. In this concern, Vandita Sharma, general secretary of the Department for Agriculture and Horticulture had, on July 23, 2011, permitted the utilisation of the land for not only setting up of the Centre for Agricultural Research but also for activities of the Institute.

“A permit for the setting up of the Centre is therefore requested,” he added.

Government letter

Vandita Sharma too had written to the deputy director general on February 2.

She requested the setting up of the Centre in order to benefit the farmers of the district.

She had assured that the College of Horticulture would not have any legal issues with the government for at least 30 years.

The government, in turn, has said transfer of land accounts would not arise as the entire land belongs to the College. “The College of Horticulture has full authority to use the land,” it has added.

Supporting the Centre

Benefiting all

The College of Horticulture too will benefit if a Centre for Agricultural Science is set up. Since it would be off the National Highway 4, farmers will have easy access to the Centre. The Central Government should take a positive decision on the matter.

-Dr Nachegowda, Dean, College of Horticulture

Meeting the minister

The Dean of the College of Horticulture and I had met the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar recently, requesting the setting up of the Centre for Agricultural Science. I shall meet the minister again, next week. If the Centre is started, funds will be provided in crores of rupees. Both scientists and farmers will benefit from it. The Central Government should consider the matter seriously. 

 -K Srinivas Gowda, former minister

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