Karnataka - Bijapur

Schemes bring ray of hope for SC, ST farmers

Pradeepkumar Kadkol

1,119 farmers utilised benefits in Bijapur, Bagalkot last year


43 projects were taken up in Bagalkot, 24 in Bijapur under Special
Component Plan for SCs

Beneficiaries provided irrigation facility by constructing ponds,
drilling borewells


Facility:A well constructed under the Special Component Plan in
Kengalgutti village of Bijapur district.

Bijapur: Over 75 per cent of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
families in Bijapur district depend on agricultural activities for a

These families with small land holdings have remained below the
poverty line owing to lack of proper facilities for agricultural
activities, including irrigation facilities.

Though the Union and State governments have launched several schemes
for the uplift of their socio-economic condition, their benefits have
not reached all owing to lack of awareness.

However, irrigation facilities being provided by the Minor Irrigation
Department under the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes
and Tribal Sub-plan (TSP) for Scheduled Tribes from the last financial
year have given a ray of hope for such families in both Bijapur and
Bagalkot districts.


Executive Engineer of the department R.B. Patil told The Hindu said
that officials were instructed to identify beneficiaries in the twin
districts of Bijapur and Bagalkot and ensure that benefits of the
schemes reached actual beneficiaries.

During 2009-10, the officials took up 43 projects in Bagalkot district
and 24 in Bijapur district under the Special Component Plan,
benefiting 494 farmers and 17 projects in Bagalkot and four in Bijapur
under the Tribal Sub-plan, benefiting 625 farmers.

The beneficiaries were provided irrigation facility by constructing
ponds, drilling borewells and drawing pipelines from nearby wells. The
total area that was irrigated under the SCP is 595 acres — 480 acres
in Bijapur and 115 acres in Bagalkot district. The total area that was
irrigated under the TSP is 741 acres — 148 acres in Bijapur and 593
acres in Bagalkot district, he said.

On learning about the benefits being drawn by these farmers, over
1,000 people have submitted applications to the department so far
during the current financial year, seeking benefits under the schemes.

The work on providing irrigation facilities to their fields would
begin after the applications were approved, Mr. Patil added.

Mahadevappa Madar and Yamunappa Shinge, small landholders at
Kengalgutti village in Bijapur tauk, said that owing to financial
constraints to take up agricultural activities in their fields, they
used to migrate to nearby districts and the neighbouring Maharashtra
to earn a livelihood. Last year, officials of the Minor Irrigation
Department approached them and asked them to avail of the facilities
under the schemes.

After the works were approved in three months, three borewells were
drilled and an open well was dug up in the village for irrigating 28
acres of land belonging to 17 beneficiaries. With adequate water
available for agricultural activities, the Madar and Shinge families
decided not to migrate to other places in search of work, they said.


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