Despite financial stress, K’taka govt keeps focus on agri, irrigation


Team Udayavani, Mar 6, 2020, 9:10 AM IST

Bengaluru: Despite financial stress, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa tried to focus on agriculture and irrigation in his budget for 2020-21, proposing to allocate Rs 500 crore to take up the works of Kalasa and Banduri Nalas under the Mahadayi river Project.

He proposed to waive the interest on default farm loans given for the purchase of agricultural equipment by cooperative banks, benefiting about 92,000 farmers.

The Chief Minister said, the state government is committed to the “speedy continuation” of the much anticipated Mahadayi Project, which is very helpful for the people and farmers of North Karnataka region.

Noting that the central government has issued the notification as per the direction of the Supreme Court, he said, “We congratulate the Central government for this”.

In accordance with the notification, the state government will provide Rs 500 crore in 2020-21 to take up the works of Kalasa and Banduri Nalas under the Mahadayi Project.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project, which will utilise 7.56 tmcft of water from the inter-state Mahadayi river, is to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

The project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, the tributaries of the Mahadayi River.

Focusing on irrigation, Yediyurappa said, the government will accord priority to the “Yettinahole Project” to provide safe drinking water expeditiously to the districts of Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Tumakuru, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Chikkaballapura and Kolar which are facing severe scarcity.

A programme has been formulated to complete the Lift component works of the first stage of this project and to commission it on a trial basis in the coming monsoon season, he said, adding that “Rs 1,500 crore will be provided to this project in the year 2020-21.”

Yediyurappa said it had been proposed to launch new lift irrigation projects in view of demands and these would be implemented at an expenditure of Rs 5,000 crore.

Noting that repayment of the medium and long term loans given by banks in the cooperative sector for the purchase of agricultural equipment like tractor and tiller to the farmers had been very low, he announced waiver of interest on such default loans.

“For this purpose, Rs 466 crore would be provided in the year 2020-21. By this scheme, 92,000 farmers in the state would be benefited,” he added.

Also, the government would bring in a new agricultural policyto encourage water security, land bank and mass cultivation and micro irrigation farmers among others.

For 2020-21, a total amount of Rs 32,259 crore is provided for the agriculture and allied activities sector.

The budget proposed Rs 200 crore allocation for developing non-notified slums in ten metropolitan cities, including the state capital, which are inhabited by large number of minorities.

He announced Rs 200 crore for comprehensive development of the Christian community.

The government also proposed to provide an assistance of Rs 20 crore for 325 feet high bronze statue of 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara being constructed in the premises of Sri Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga District.

A 100 feet high bronze statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru city, will be erected in the International Airport region here at a total expenditure of Rs.66 crore.

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