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Farmers to seek Goa CM's intervention

Kalasa-Banduri nala project envisages diversion of water from canal to Malaprabha

Gururaj Jamkhandi  |  Chennai/ Dharwad 

The Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samiti, which is fighting for implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri nala project that envisages diversion of water from the Kalasa and Banduri Nala to Malaprabha river, has decided to meet Goa chief minister Manohar Parikkar and appeal to him to cooperate in completing the project before 2013-end.

Samiti president Vijay Kulkarni told this correspondent that the work on div-erting 2 tmc of water was going on in snail’s pace and Karnataka deserves 7.56 tmc of water to be diverted. Now that BJP rules both Karnataka and Goa the two chief ministers should sort out the differences amicably and ensure the completion of the project. The project when completed will solve the drinking water problem of Hubli-Dharwad and rural parts of Savadatti, Navalgund, Nargund and Ron taluks. “We will meet Parikkar soon. If the response is negative we will re-launch agitation,” Kulkarni said.

Farmer Martyrs’ Day
On Saturday it will be the 32nd Martyr’s Day observation at Navalgund in Dharwad district and Nargund in Gadag district. It was exactly 32 years ago that the police had opened fire to quell violent agitating farmers. Two farmers and three policemen were killed in the violent incidents.

The incident sparked off violent protests by far-mers across the state and also resulted in the fall of Gundu Rao’s government and emergence of first ever non-Congress government in Karnataka-Janata Party government headed by Ramakrishna Hegde.

It may be recalled here that the farmers of Naragund and Navalgund taluks had launched an agitation against the government forcibly collecting the betterment levy from farmers in the Malaprabha Command Area including Nargund and Navalgund taluks. Their argument was that the benefits of the Malaprabha project had not reached majority of the farmers due to the faulty planning and collection of levy from the non-beneficiaries was unjustified.

Veerappa Kadlikoppa of Chikkanaragund village in Naragund taluk of Gadag district (then in Dharwad district) and Basappa Lakkundi of Alagawadi village in Navalgund taluk of Dharwad district were killed in police firing. The day is being observed as farmer martyr’s day every year and it has become customary for political parties to pay homage to the deceased farmers.

The Martyrs’ day has also provided an opportunity to the opposition parties to attack the ruling party for “neglecting farmers”, while for the ruling party it has been an occasion to reiterate its commitment to the cause of farmers.

Much water has flowed down the Malaprabha since 1980. The farmers who were urging for implementation of the Kalasa Banduri Nalla project seem to have resig-ned to fate as the project hangs in balance thanks to obstruction by Goa government.

The focus this time is on the government’s move to amend the land reforms act and facilitate non-agriculturists to buy agricultural land and later use it for non-agricultural purpose.

First Published: Sat, July 21 2012. 00:49 IST