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MLC wants special quota under Article 371 for Tumkur district

By Our Staff Correspondent

TUMKUR, NOV. 23. V.S. Ugrappa, general secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and MLC, today urged the Government to recommend to the Centre to include Tumkur district along with the backward districts of the north Karnataka region for special reservation in education and employment opportunities.

(The State Government has urged the Centre to amend Article 371 of the Constitution to include backward districts in north Karnataka among the areas where special reservation is provided to the people.)

Drought

Mr. Ugrappa also urged the Government to declare all the ten taluks in Tumkur district as drought-hit this year also.

He told presspersons here that there was a proposal to extend the benefits under Article 371 to 12 northern districts of the State and he welcomed it. However, he said, the D.M. Nanjundappa committee on regional imbalances had identified Tumkur district also among the most backward districts. "We will be able to get special privileges from the Centre if the district is also included. The Government must make a strong proposal," he said.

Despite good rainfall this year, Tumkur district was still reeling under drought. The impact of the drought for three years was such that it would take two more years for the district to recover. Hundreds of villages did not have drinking water. There was a shortage of foodgrains and not enough fodder for cattle.

UAS centre

Mr. Ugrappa said that the Agriculture Minister, K. Srinivasa Gowda, had examined the feasibility of opening a branch of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Pavagada taluk in the district. About 140 acres had been identified for the purpose.

The Minister would convene a meeting of all the departments concerned at Pavagada on December 13 to discuss the matter. The Chief Secretary would attend the meeting, he said.

`Crops affected'

Mr. Ugrappa said the groundnut crop in Pavagada, Madhugiri and Koratagere taluks had been affected by red worm. Recently, the Agriculture Minister visited the affected fields.

The idea of starting a branch of the UAS in the area for the benefit of groundnut growers had occurred to the Minister during the visit to the three taluks, he added.

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