Bengaluru, July 15, 2015 DHNS: The State government is exploring the possibility of purchasing land directly from the farmers for implementing Yettinahole drinking water project, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said on Tuesday.
“The government is exploring all possibilities to expedite the project. Social impact study has to be conducted as per the Land Acquisition(the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act) Act ,2013. It would consume a lot of time. So the government is looking into the possibility of purchasing the land directly from farmers for the project,” the minister said while intervening in a discussion on the Water Resources Department in the Assembly.
The Congress government is in a fix on acquiring land for big projects. It is neither ready to adopt the new 2015 ordinance of the NDA government nor is it ready to implement 2013 Act of the previous government as it has not framed the rules. Moreover, acquisition of land under the 2013 Act will lead to delay in project implementation as it involves cumbersome process.
The project envisages providing drinking water supply to the parched districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru Rural and Tumakuru. Though the government has already laid the foundation stone for the project, the work has been hampered due problems encountered in land acquisition. The project is estimated to cost about Rs 11,000 crore.
Further, Patil denied that the government had directed the contractors implementing the project to purchase lands from the farmers, as charged by BJP’s Basavaraj Bommai. “The State government lacks clarity on land acquisition. It has become a political issue. Lack of clarity in the government has hit number of projects in the State,” Bommai said.
The government may require three to four years for acquiring land under the 2013 Act. Conducting social impact study involves survey of all affected villages, getting approval from gram, taluk and zilla panchayats and calling for objections. Decision of the government not to adopt the 2015 ordinance has dealt a big blow to the Yettinahole project, he charged.
JD(S) leader Y S V Datta said that the State was lagging behind in irrigation as it had failed to implement project in a time-bound manner. The government do not have commitment to implement irrigation projects on priority, he added.
The Water Resource minister said there had been large-scale violation of cropping pattern in the State. “For instance, farmers in the Cauvery basin region are cultivating sugar cane on about six lakh hectares against 40,000 hectares notified by the government. Crop pattern had been violated in north Karnataka also. It is one of the reasons why cane farmers are in distress now,” he said.