Cabinet okays new horticulture scheme

Cabinet okays new horticulture scheme

The State Cabinet on Saturday approved the Karnataka State Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme to give a thrust to value-added crops.

Under this three-year project, it is estimated that 28,000 hectares of land can be brought under the cultivation of value-added horticulture crops, benefiting 50,000 families of farmers. The project envisages increasing horticulture production worth Rs 450 crore every year.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visveshwara Hegde Kageri said Rs 525 crore had been earmarked for the programme in the next three years. At present, 19.57 lakh hectares is covered under various horticulture crops in the State, with a production of 1.54 crore tonnes. The Cabinet approved Rs 126 crore and Rs 250 crore for the construction of 43 courts and 193 residential quarters respectively to meet the specifications recommended by an expert ‘building committee’. The government had earlier approved Rs 83 crore and 195 crore for construction of courts and quarters respectively, but the amount had to be enhanced to meet the specifications stipulated by the committee.

Extension of scheme

It also decided to extend the Suvarna Grama scheme to 1,000 more villages across the State at a cost of Rs 1,012 crore. As many as 3,381 villages have already been included for comprehensive improvement under the scheme. Kageri said the Cabinet approved relocation and rehabilitation of 900 families at Aihole in Bagalkot district to a new settlement. He said the move would help save the town’s 110 heritage structures and get them the World Heritage Site tag.

The Cabinet approved upgrading the stretch between Gonikoppa (State Highway-90) and Ponnampet (SH-89) at a cost of Rs 49 crore as an alternative to the Gundlupet-Sultan Bathery stretch (SH-212), where night driving has been banned.

Other decisions taken

* 400 vacancies to be filled in 11 departments for effective implementation of ‘Sakaala’ scheme

* Upgrading and renovation of Assembly Hall in Vidhana Soudha at a cost of Rs 15 crore

* A Rs 17-crore compensation package for potato growers who lost their crop due to the Late Blight disease

* National Pension Scheme for unorganised labourers to be extended to 32 more trades from the present six to include blacksmiths, agarbathi workers among others
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