The long-pending Yettinahole irrigation project has become a pet issue for the politicians with the declaration of the Assembly elections. So much so that parties are outdoing each other in claiming credit for the ‘green signal’ for the project.
The drought-prone district has been facing acute water scarcity and the Yettinahole project has come a ray of hope. However, the project, bogged down by delays on account of various reasons still remains a non-starter. While even the foundation stone has not been laid for the project, the political parties are busy claiming credit for the ‘green signal’ for the project.
Several organisations staged protest demanding immediate implementation of a permanent irrigation project based on a report by water expert G S Paramashivaiah.
Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who represents Chikkaballapur in Parliament, had spoken of the Yettinahole project while responding to the frequent protest demanding a permanent irrigation for Chikkaballapur. Hopes kindled and it was expected that the work on the project would begin soon. The foundation stone for the project should have been laid in November 2012. However, there has been no progress till date.
Notwithstanding the status quo, the leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) are vying each other claiming credit.
It is the claim of Moily that he got sanctioned the project after a discussion with then chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda. However, the present incumbent - Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has dismissed the role of Congress in the launching of the project. It is his claim that it was only because of the efforts of the BJP government that the project saw light of the day.
The claims and counter claims do not stop here. Moily says that he got released more grants from the Union government for irrigation while Shettar retorts that while the project was being proposed off and on, there was no thrust on it. He says that irrigation got top priority after BJP came to power in the State.
The residents of the town, battered by water shortage have their own take. They claim that the project has assumed importance for the public representatives after the declaration of the Assembly election, while no study has till now been conducted on its feasibility.
“The veracity of the claims will become clear only after the election,” said K M Suresh, an entrepreneur.