Karegudda, a small village in Manvi taluk of Raichur district, is all set to host Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is scheduled to hold Janata Darshan (interaction with people) and Grama Vaastavya (village stay) programmes on Wednesday.
The preparations that began about a fortnight ago soon after the Chief Minister’s programme was finalised were almost completed by Tuesday evening.
A huge pandal has been erected for Janata Darshan. People from not just Karegudda, but also from nearby areas are expected to arrive in the village to interact with the Chief Minister and air their grievances.
In his first edition of Grama Vaastavya, which he had initiated in 2006 during his first tenure as Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy had stayed with people at their homes. In this second edition, which he started from Chandraki village in Yadgir district last Friday, he has, however, chosen public places to stay at night. In Karegudda, a government schoolroom has been readied for the Chief Minister’s overnight stay.
Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and in charge of Raichur Venkatarao Nadagouda visited the village on Tuesday and took stock of the preparations. He was found giving directions to officials on the preparations that were in full swing.
The Chief Minister’s visit has raised hopes not just of Karegudda residents but also of those waiting to see their long-standing demands addressed. A considerable extent of agricultural fields in Manvi and Sindhanur taluks are irrigated by the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) and farmers at the tail-end of the canal face severe water crisis every year as water is allegedly drawn in excess in the upper reaches of the canal to irrigate non-designated areas illegally. Construction of another canal parallel to the TLBC main canal to directly connect the fields at the tail-end without giving any outlets in the upper reaches has been a long-pending demand of the farmers in the lower reaches.
Farmers of the TLBC tail-end are expected to raise the issue before the Chief Minister during his village stay. Most of the irrigated belt in Manvi taluk, including Karegudda, is at the TLBC tail-end. A large amount of silt — estimated at 33 tmcft — accumulated in the Tungabhadra reservoir has reduced its storage capacity and this is another issue that is expected to be raised before Kumaraswamy.
“The issue of Tungabhadra reservoir silt is under discussion. We are exploring options — dredging the dam and building a balancing reservoir at Navali. We have to consult Andhra Pradesh and Telangana before taking a final call. The issue of building a parallel canal was also discussed recently. The Chief Minister is aware of the issue and will hopefully find a solution to it,” Nadagouda told media representatives at Keregudda.
Establishment of Raichur University, a Mini-Vidhana Soudha at Manvi, construction of a ring road in Sindhanur, and providing infrastructure for the establishment of Indian Institute of Information Technology in Raichur are among the demands expected to be raised before the Chief Minister.
Since several organisations, including the Tungabhadra Irrigation Workers Association and the BJP, have threatened to disrupt the Chief Minister’s programmes, the Police Department has deployed a large number of security personnel in and around Karegudda.