How CM launched old projects cleverly timed for poll eve

Siddaramaiah kicked off works worth Rs 12K cr in 18 days

How CM launched old projects cleverly timed for poll eve

Christmas was round the corner when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah went around the state playing Santa, doling out gifts in the form of developmental works.  

In the first leg of his Navakarnataka Nirmana tour - from December 13 to December 30 - Siddaramaiah's bag of gifts contained projects worth a staggering Rs 12,086 crore. But every Santa comes with a clause.

Many projects flagged off were those that had accumulated  ever since the Congress came to power four years ago, inevitably timed for launch closer to the Assembly polls.

Siddaramaiah covered at least 16 districts and 43 Assembly constituencies, according to information made public by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), where he inaugurated completed projects and laid the foundation stone for many others.

In Davangere, Siddaramaiah flagged off projects worth Rs 1,728 crore. Foundation stone was laid for a lift irrigation project to fill 60 lakes in Harapanahalli, Davangere district from the Tungabhadra river.

Garbhagudi lift irrigation

As it turns out, this is the Garbhagudi lift irrigation scheme that dates back to 2011. It was announced as a new scheme in the 2017-18 budget. Similarly, the foundation stone laid for renovation of the left and right bank canal of the Tunga reservoir is a project that was cleared in June 2012.

The CM launched works worth Rs 1,730 crore in Bagalkot, where he said over 17,000 farmers had been benefited from the construction of 11,221 irrigation tanks and 21,278 hectares of irrigated area.

Bidar saw Siddaramaiah launch a lift irrigation project in Basavakalyan, a mother-child hospital, works under phase-4 of Namma Grama Namma Raste project and supply of drinking water to 23 villages from Karanja river - all worth Rs 1,201 crore. These are a mix of old and new projects, Bidar Deputy Commissioner H R Mahadev said.

"All of them are projects that were approved in the last four years. For projects whose foundation stones have been laid, the target is to finish them before March," he said.

Green signal given

Several works under phase-3 of the Nagarotthana scheme, cleared in May 2015, were given the green signal. The Mallabad irrigation project that Siddaramaiah inaugurated in Kalaburagi was the brainchild of the previous BJP government.

Foundation stone was laid for a 1x10 MVA, 110/11 kV
substation at Islampura in Belagavi, which dates back to 2015.

The chief minister is scheduled to resume his state tour on January 3 from Magadi and Channapatna Assembly constituencies. The opposition BJP has criticised the tour, accusing Siddaramaiah of electioneering using government machinery.

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