With elections to the assembly fast approaching and the ruling BJP facing the threat of a split, water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai is keen on inaugurate several lift irrigation schemes. He has chalked out a series of programmes in November to inaugurate the schemes.
It started with chief minister Jagadish Shettar inaugurating the Hipparagi and four other lift irrigation projects in Bagalkot district on Sunday at a function at Athani in Belgaum district. This will be followed by the inauguration of the lift irrigation scheme at Shiggaon in Haveri district on Friday. Incidentally, Shiggaon is Bommai’s constituency.
On November 23, the Honnali lift irrigation scheme in Tumkur will be inaugurated. The third week of the month will see inauguration of Marol scheme and Timmapur lift irrigation schemes in Bagalkot district. It will be followed by dedication of the first phase of Chimmalagi lift irrigation scheme in Bijapur, Chandapur scheme in Bidar and Bheema scheme in Gulbarga district.
Who will take the credit for completing the lift irrigation schemes in the state is the question being asked in the region. Whether water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai, an ardent supporter of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa will claim the credit or the BJP government, which funded the projects claims this as its achievement is to be seen.
Speaking to Business Standard, Bommai claimed that Karnataka has been in the forefront in implementing irrigation schemes and efficient water management and the Centre had acknowledged it. He said the Centre had selected Narayanpur Left Bank Canal area for the implementation of the pilot project for remodeling and modernisation of canal with technical assistance from China.
He said one thousand hectares of land in the NLBC command area will benefit with the Karnataka government taking up the work under the project.
Bommai said, the Government of India had selected NLBC for the pilot project under the Water Mission. The GoI will sign a MoU with China in this connection. Apart from remodeling and modernisation, the project envisages introduction of volumetric measurement system and water use efficiency measures.
Bommai said the state cabinet had approved the proposal by the Union government at its recent meeting held at Gulbarga. The work will be completed in three years.
On the Kalasa Banduri, Bommai said the delay in implementation of the Kalasa Banduri nala project was due to legal and technical reasons. On the legal front, the tribunal’s work has been very slow as the GoI has not provided basic facilities to the tribunal.
On the technical side, the minister said the work of digging the trench is hampered as the loose soil in the region had been collapsing. The department has taken up digging work to a distance of 5.5 km in non-forest area and has completed work for 4 km. “We are adopting the cut and cover procedure to combat the problem of loose soil collapsing” Bommai said.