Budget belies Kolar hopes

Residents sore at lack of proposals to address water shortage

“The Chief Minister should clarify whether Kolar district is a part of Karnataka. The budget has belied the expectation of a project for permanent irrigation facility to the parched district.” said Yuva Vidyarathi Hitarakshana Vedike president B Suresh Gowda.
The lack of emphasis on dairy farming and water supply projects had irked the farmers. “Kolar district has been neglected. There is no mention of funds for Yaragol water supply. Declaration of support price for dairy farmers is of no use as the incentive declared last year is yet to be paid. No purpose will be served by shifting the sub-jail in the City. It seems the CM is under the impression that Kolar is in Andhra Pradesh,” reacted farmers’ leader Murandahalli Gopal.

“The budget is bereft of any hopes for the district. The Chief Minister has turned deaf ears to the problems in this part of the State. There is no specific stand on the ills plaguing the drought-hit region,” said Sheshadri, a senior citizen.
MLC Naseer Ahmed said that the targets set in the budget last year have not been achieved due to lack of resources. The assurance on grants for irrigation, agriculture and other sectors too has not been honoured. There is no mention of any assistance to redress water scarcity in the district.

Bylahalli Govindagowda echoed similar views. He said that the government has established its anti-farmer stand through the budget. “It is said that there is not even a whisper on Netravati diversion or Yaragol project.”

The farmers in the district are dependent on borewells. Water with high flouride content is wrecking havoc on public health. “It is a pity that the Chief Minister, despite knowing all these facts has not cared to show least concern in the budget,” he fumed.
However, district organising secretary of Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishat has a different take. According to Gurunath Rajagir, the budget is “moderately welcome.” People of all categories have been considered on equal footing. Proposal to set up model hostels at district headquarters, engineering colleges, promotion of English learning in rural areas are welcome. However, Kolar district has been neglected. No special attention has been given to address water problem. It would have been worked well if the elected representatives from the district had drawn the attention of the Chief Minister.
CPM state committee member Gandhi Nagara Narayanaswamy said that Kolar district has been given a raw deal in the budget.

“There is no mention of any scheme to provide permanent irrigation facility. A sum of Rs 40 crore has been reserved for developing small tanks. But is the allocation adequate for all the tanks? Further, increase in Valued Added Tax would fuel rise in the price of essential commodities,” Narayana-swamy opined.

According to Chandrashekhar, a farmer of Nenamanahalli, the budget proposals focus more on Shimoga and Bellary districts. The move to pay pension to Anganwadi workers is welcome. But attention should have been given to their paltry salary as well. The proposal to repay farmers who have cleared agricultural loans is a cause to cheer, he said.

The proposal to pay Rs one lakh ex gratia to the family of the farmers who commit suicide is only a temporary measure. In the long term, it fails to empower farmers. Another measure to reimburse the farm loan repayment clearly indicates that the government has considered farmers as a vote bank, said agriculture scientist Dr Somashekhar.
DH News Service

Komul chief welcomes budget
Komul Chairman Jayasimha Krishnappa has welcomed the proposal to grant Rs 1 crore to set up mega dairy in Chikkaballapur.
He also welcomed the government’s action in granting 15 acre land at Nandi Cross in Chikkaballapur to Komul and continuing incentive of Rs 2  to milk producers.

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