Kundapur, January 2: The Varahi irrigation project which was begun about 35 years ago, in order to provide water for farmers in 68 villages of Udupi and Karkala taluk, a total of about 15,702 hectares of land, has not yet seen any clear motive of providing water to the farmers.
Even now not even half of the works are completed, the concerned ministers and in-charge ministers have assured of providing water by December, which has remained as mere assurance. They had previously warned of protest if the assurances are not fulfilled. Hence the Udupi district farmers association has come forward to stage protest, said Prathapchandra Shetty, the president of Udupi district Farmers Association(R).
He said, the protest continues even at night and will be intensified further if there is no proper response.
The farmers are not at all benefitted by the Varahi Project. Since the water facility is not yet provided, a hunger protest was staged near the Project executive engineer’s office by the Udupi district farmers association(R) during which he addressed the protestors.
35 years ago, the estimation of the Varahi project was just Rs 9.54 crore. Currently, 589 crores are spent on the project, and even after this not even a drop of water has been released to the canals. But the canals are sliding down, he said. Yet it is not clear as to which village has to be supplied water.
Prathapchandra said that, many scams have taken place concerned to Varahi project and proper investigations have to be undertaken in this regard.
Chaitra Shetty, a local resident initiated the movement by garlanding Gandhi’s statue.
Kundapur taluk panchayat president Bhaskar Billava, ZP Member Ganapathy T. Shriyan, TP member Raju Poojary, Sadananada Shetty Keduru, Byndoor BJP President B M Sukumar Shetty, members of Kundapur Congress, members of Kundapur town hall, various gram Panchayat presidents and members also participated in the protest.
Tahasildar visit: Kundapur Tahasildar Gayatri Nayak, visited the protest venue by evening on Thursday, January 1st and listened to the grievances of protesters. On this occasion the leaders of the farmers association said the protest would be withdrawn only if the concerned assure them an exact date within which the water would be released.