Minister reviews Varahi irrigation project progress

Pramod Madhwaraj tells officials to speed up work

Varahi irrigation project worth Rs 669.97 crore has utterly failed to fulfil the aspirations based on which the project was envisioned as the loopholes still continue to haunt the authenticity of the venture - people affected by the project submitted a list of complaints, including this, to District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj at a review meeting of the project here on Monday.

As many as 601.01 acres of land has been acquired for the project so far and has been handed over to Varahi engineering department.  The acquisition of 61.9 acres of land is still pending. In this, the proposal for land acquisition has been sent to the government. The acquisition of the remaining land should undergo public hearing.
 
The minister said the project would surely see the light of the day as incomplete works on the stretch would be speeded up.

He had a whirlwind tour of the entire canal on Left Bank Canal area and spent time interacting with the affected people and also had a glance into the major problems that impede the completion of the project.

The farmers and the residents in Nelyadi-Kabbinahitlu and Kakkunje spoke about the issues in providing compensation. Besides the area in which the canal is passing through, the way is almost ineffectual due to low quality construction and the water choked-up in the canal is retreated to Kakkunje river in the catchment area, they said.

With land acquisition being a major delay, the entire project is on lapse. The work of diversion weir is completed. At Yeddadi-Mayyadi, the work which is taken place in the open place seems to be totally unscientific and the farmers in the area are struggling to receive water for irrigation.  In the juncture at the 27 km in the Left Bank Canal (LBC), the canal has created problem as in the past two months, the water has failed to irrigate the land. In Molahalli, the bridge at 23 km in LBC is incomplete. Rain creates havoc in the area.

In Hardalli-Mandalli there is a house covering five cents of land. The inhabitants are stubborn as they are not satisfied with the compensation package and it resulted in the incomplete work of the canal, it was brought to the notice of the meeting.

The minister, who made the spot inspection, told the Varahi executive engineer to look into the problem and offer compensatory land to the dwellers. If the house area is acquired and the canal is extended, the project would be enable to offer  water to nearly 50-60 acres of land, he added.

The complete closure of Jamagadni pond at Haladi by the project contractors was also brought to the notice of the meeting. The canal in the adjacent area is filled with slit and sludge which has evaporated the water source in the pond, the villagers charged. Even at Jeethmakki, the project construction has resulted in closing down of a pond which supplied water to nearly 50 acres of farmland. The outlet of LBC is built in the area and the project is a failure. The people are suffering from water crisis, they said.

A pond at Thottuvottu in Haladi has been closed wherein the distributor line and a stream in the region are closed owing to sludge.  

Farmer Raghuram Shetty said farming has not been taken up from the last four years.  

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