Farmers in distress due to incomplete Varahi irrigation project

Farmers in distress due to incomplete Varahi irrigation project

The incomplete Varahi irrigation project and land acquisition process for the proposed right bank canal has left farmers and the other land holders in distress as their land is frozen in the name of the project.

Raising the issue at a meeting chaired by District-In-Charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj here on Tuesday, farmer Rajashekhar said that the farmers and also other land holders cannot take up any work as the RTC of the land is sealed for Varahi project land acquisition despite only a part of land being earmarked for the purpose.

Sampigehalli Sanjeev Shetty said that even though only 20 cents of land is surveyed for acquisition of land, the farmer's three acres of land is being frozen. District in-charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj lamented that it is pathetic that the farmers have to struggle as they are unable to take up any work on the land which is attached to the identified land in the area.

He instructed the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner to take action to convert the remaining land under Podi so that the farmers can make use of the rest of the land for their personal use. The problem is intense in areas like Shankaranarayana, Halnadu, Amparu and Kavradi. He said that a meeting should be convened at the earliest comprising VAs and revenue inspectors.

The minister ordered for an enquiry through the Civil Rights Enforcement Cell (CREC) by the Deputy Commissioner over the construction of the vented dams at a cost of Rs 90 lakh in Nadpal area, as not a piece of land is irrigated through the project. The proposed vented dam was supposed to irrigate Nadpal, Jeddinagudde and Kelsanka tribal areas but the machinery has got damaged and the three kilometers channel that was dug up is now defunct.

The minister instructed the officials to place wooden planks to all the vented dams in the area by December 15.

The house of Ramachandra Mendon in the left bank area of Varahi project is severely damaged owing to the open blasting in the region. Mendon said that he has been trying to make the officials understand the problem for the last three years. Besides, the police have issued a B report.

He added that he had offered his 68 cents of land for the project at a cheaper price of Rs 80,000. "There is no permission for open blasting. The controlled blasting should be carried out in the area as mentioned in the draft notification of the project. However, the officials have failed to adhere to the guidelines," he said. The minister insisted on settling the issue within 15 days.

Rajalakshmi from Siddapur said she would commit suicide as her only source of livelihood, which is one and half acres of arecanut plantation, is spoiled owing to gushing of water into the farmland. The entire plantation is spoiled and she has been displaced and forced to work as a cook for a livelihood.

She said it is almost four years since the incident took place. The Deputy Commissioner had conducted a study and had submitted a report where she had recommended a compensation of Rs 12.62 lakh. However the report was lately submitted to the MD, Varahi Irrigation project, Bengaluru. The project executive engineer said a super passage was proposed in the area and the victim's land was adjacent to the low lying areas. The minister directed the officials to ensure that the victim gets the compensation at the earliest.

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