Agitation for permanent irrigation project at crossroads

Abrupt withdrawal of stir has caused unrest among people

The district is witnessing unexpected developments in regard to the agitation for the permanent irrigation scheme in the backdrop of abrupt ending of a 65-day indefinite protest demanding permanent irrigation scheme to the arid areas.

The Shashwatha Niravari Horata Samiti, recently convened a meeting in the city to thank all the organisations and individuals who participated in the 65-day protest. This sudden and unexpected development has caused an unrest among the members of the Samiti and  those connected with the agitation.

In the meantime, CPI(M) State secretary and former legislator G V Srirama Reddy’s Committee for Permanent Irrigation Scheme in Undivided Kolar District  has been re-launched. It has been ten years since the committee was set up.

The committee has come forward to hold awareness conventions in all hoblis and taluks of dryland districts. The committee aims to educate people about the scheme.
While the two organisations — Shashwatha Niravari Horata Samiti and Committee for Permanent Irrigation Scheme in Undivided Kolar district — are going in their own ways, others who are also concerned about the issue are said to be forming their own organisation ‘Karnataka Niravari Vedike’ to carry forward the camapaign in a more systematic manner. According to sources, the Vedike is studying the feasibility of drawing water from the Western Ghats to the dryland areas without causing harm to the forest wealth.

The division among these organisations has raised concern among people. Amidst this, the political developments in the State too have caused anxiety among the people.

“It is but natural for those who participated in the protest to worry whether Chief Minister keep his word on implementing the scheme. For, there has been no written assurance. It is common for leaders to make mere assurance to end protests. But, they fail to give details on the feasibility of the assurance,” said former Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar and former MLA N Jyothi Reddy.

“The organisers of the protest — during the 65 day protest — had taken an emotional decision not to end the agitation until the water is drawn from the Western Ghats to the district. But the moment, Chief Minister held out an assurance, the organisers changed their stance much to the shock of the thousands of protesters. The organisers did not seek anyone’s opinion. Instead, abruptly withdrew the protest,” said a person who participated in the agitation.

To lay a siege Soudha

With the Committee for Permanent Irrigation Scheme in Undivided Kolar district becoming active again, there are plans to take up active campaign in January and February. Conventions have been planned in all the taluks of Chikkballapur, Kolar, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Bellary, Hassan, Mandya and Ramnagar districts.
Besides, the protesters will lay a siege to the Vidhana Soudha in the first week of February, sources said.

Comments (+)