Call to intensify struggle for permanent irrigation

The struggle for permanent irrigation for the parched districts should take the form of a revolution in order to open the eyes of the government and elected representatives, opined irrigation action committee president R Anjaneya Reddy.

Speaking at the third death anniversary of irrigation expert Paramashivaiah here on Saturday, Reddy said that six months ago, following a protest in Bengaluru, the chief minister himself had promised to take all steps in this regard. “But, he is yet to fulfil his promise. It is very disappointing that the people’s representatives are not honouring their words on a crucial issue such as water,” he said.

He said that the government had been buying time and cheating people by making false promises. If the situation is allowed to continue, it may sound death knell for farmers.

Water scarcity may wipe out farmers families. “Therefore, it is high time that we intensify our agitation. The struggle should be in the form of a revolution. Paramashivaiah had said that he won’t die without providing irrigation for parched districts,” Reddy said.

  He said that there had been consistent struggle in the past two decades demanding permanent irrigation facility. But, none of the governments had taken any appropriate decision in this regard. In fact, permanent irrigation had not been a major issue in the elections. But, things should change in the next elections. “We should elect people who will work for a permanent irrigation project - setting aside caste, financial hurdles and other considerations,” Reddy said.

The state government has only been diverting the attention of the people by launching several projects such as the Yettinahole and KC valley projects. But neither of these will provide a permanent solution for the water woes of this region of the state. Still, feeding tanks with treated sewage water is being projected as a permanent solution, Reddy said.

Meanwhile, the dharna being staged in Kolar demanding permanent irrigation, entered 273rd day on Saturday. The members of Bahujan Vidyarthi Parishad joined the protest on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, Sharadamma, the president of the women’s cell of the Parishad, said that politicians had begun making false promises with an year for the election. She called upon people not to be carried away by the promises and boycott the elections.

“The present MLAs too had made similar promises, but have failed to fulfil them. How do you expect any action from  the elected representatives who absent themselves from the Assembly session,” she chided.

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