Ganga Kalyan scheme comes a cropper in Karnataka

Poor success in drilling borewells for irrigation by SC/ST farmers

Ganga Kalyan scheme comes a cropper in Karnataka

The State government has framed several laws to penalise officials who fail to utilise funds meant for Ganga Kalyan, a scheme to provide irrigation facilities to farmers, especially SCs and STs.

It is implemented through Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation and Maharshi Valmiki Development Corporation. But the officials concerned have totally failed to execute the scheme during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years.

A total of 22,292 borewells should have been sunk in the State during the two financial years to help farmers get water for cultivation. But so far, only 2,964 borewells have been sunk. The scheme has not achieved even 14 per cent progress.

The government had set 14,765 tubewells as target for Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation. However, the corporation was able to sink only 1,563 borewells (967 in 2013-14 and 596 in 2014-15). The Maharshi Valmiki Development Corporation should have sunk 7,527 borewells. But, the corporation dug just 1,563 borewells.

The success of the Ambedkar Development Corporation in implementing the scheme in 10 districts is total zero. The corporation has not sunk even a single borewell in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Kodagu, Chitradurga, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Davangere, Mandya, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts in the previous financial year.

Even the Maharshi Valmiki Development Corporation’s achievement is no different.Its achievement is literally zero in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagar, Davangere, Yadgir, Mandya, and Shivamogga districts during 2013-14. It has not sunk even a single borewell during 2014-15 in Bagalkot, Ballari, Bidar, Vijayapura, Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Gadag, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Haveri, Kodagu, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Mysuru, Tumakuru and Uttara Kannada districts.

“The government has failed to give justice to dalit farmers. The process of identifying beneficiaries under the scheme during the current financial year has not yet started. The apathetic attitude of the officials towards farmers has continued.

The Governor has to intervene in the matter and take severe action against officials who have failed to implement the scheme that would help dalit farmers in distress due to severe drought and debt,” said Nagaraj Hongal, general secretary of Jana Jagruthi Vedike.

Admitting the failure in achieving the target, Mallajamma, chairperson of the Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation, said that the progress of the scheme had not been encouraging since 2010-11. She said, notices had been served on officials concerned to achieve the target by January 31, 2015. Action would be initiated against officials, if they fail to do so in future.

“Ganga Kalyan is one of the major schemes of the government to empower farmers from SC/ST communities. We have given top priority for implementing it effectively. The government is contemplating to deposit the money directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries to bring transparency in the implementation of the scheme,” she said.

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