Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that the government would distribute free laptops to around 1.80 lakh students.
Continuing his state-wide tour, Siddaramaiah on Monday reached Ballari district and inaugurated works and participated in foundation stone ceremonies in three Assembly constituencies of Hagaribommanahalli, Hoovina Hadagali and Sandur.
The chief minister said the state would fulfil its decision to distribute 1.80 lakh laptops to technical students in this academic year itself and all first-year under-graduate students in such courses would get the laptops.
Earlier, in Hagaribommanahalli, the chief minister laid the foundation stone for a Rs 145 crore Malavi dam project to fill up water through lift irrigation and another project today for the Rs 145 crore Cheelavarahalli lift irrigation project.
The Malavi dam, which is full now, would help irrigate around 10,000 acres.
Siddaramaiah inaugurated works in Hagaribommanahalli worth Rs 250 crore; in Hoovina Hadagali worth Rs 820 crore and in Sandur for Rs 508 crore. “Till now Rs 1,200 crore has been released for Hagaribommanahalli. No government has done this,” he said.
The chief minister said he had been touring the state’s districts for the last six days. “Development is not for elections. In the last two months I have toured many parts of the state and inaugurated development works. For me, the state’s development is important. I make no distinction between MLAs of any party while allotting funds,” he said.
He said the government was filling up lakes in an ambitious programme as Karnataka suffered from reduced rainfall and water tables were depleting.
After Rajasthan, Karnataka had the highest dry area. “Without adequate rains, we set out to give water to farmers under Krishi Bhagya scheme under which 1.82 lakh ponds have been dug. This will enable water to be stored for other seasons when it is required,” he said.
The chief minister said his government laid stress on irrigation projects. “We have executed all the promises made in our manifesto. Only few are remaining and they will be completed before March. In the state, more than 4.5 core people have benefitted due to Anna Bhagya. Nobody should sleep hungry and our aim is to make Karnataka hunger-free.
Speaking about encouraging women’s’ groups, the CM said groups under Stree Shakti will get interest-free loans. He also added that after the government enabled online markets, farmers’ incomes had risen by 38 per cent on average.
In Hoovina Hadagali, the chief minister laid the foundation stone for 111 projects today. “This was the first time so many projects were being started at one go anywhere in the country,” Siddaramaiah said.
In the last four and half years, in Hoovina Hadagali, projects worth Rs 1,850 crore has been sanctioned and spent. They included roads, filling up lakes with water, hospitals, student hostels etc.