BENGALURU: , during his on Wednesday at Manekshaw Parade Ground, appealed to in the state not to commit suicide and sought to assure them that the government was with them.

“The dark chapter of farmer suicides should end,” Kumaraswamy said. “Every time I hear about a farmer committing suicide, I feel like I have lost a family member.”

The CM said the rain gods have favoured the state this year and all the reservoirs are full. This, he said, will stimulate agricultural activity. He said a minimum 2,38,000 farmers will benefit from his government’s loan waiver scheme and promised loans taken from commercial banks will also be waived soon.

“People are trying to spread distrust about our loan waiver promise,” the CM said. “But there is no need for such things. The scheme will be implemented in a transparent manner. We have already ordered for loans taken from cooperatives to be written off. Steps are being taken to waive loans obtained from commercial banks.”

Kumaraswamy said the government will conduct a monthly ‘raita spandana’, a programme to spread awareness among farmers about new technology and methods in farming in every district. He hailed China’s development which he said was done making use of available resources and said the state will develop industrial clusters with the motto ‘Compete with China’. Under the plan, support will be provided to develop industries based on locally available raw materials.

The CM stressed on the need for research in basic science and said an international science centre for research and development will be set up at Hosur village, Gauribidanur in Chikkaballapur district in the name of rationalist H Narasimhaiah, who was one of the chief minister’s teachers.

Flex-free state

He also said steps are being taken to ensure ‘Brand Bengaluru’ is protected and claimed his government will strive hard to clear hurdles in the way of setting up infrastructure of global standards for the city. He promised to speed up the second phase of the Namma Metro, Peripheral Ring Road and sub-urban rail projects.

Insisting that the government is committed to a flexfree Bengaluru, the CM revealed he wants the entire state to be flex-free.

Commenting on the proposal to move Aero India 2019 out of Bengaluru — to Lucknow — Kumaraswamy said he is hopeful that the Central government will respond positively to overwhelming public feeling and that show will remain in Bengaluru. “I have written to the prime minister and the defence ministry in this regard,” he said.

He also said that the 370-megawatt gas-based power plant being set up in Yelahanka will be completed this year. He also said that in order to expand the power infrastructure, 35 new sub-stations and 800km electric lines will be installed.

The CM said an online portal will be set up to receive contributions from those wishing to support educational institutions where they studied.

HD Kumaraswamy flagged off the ‘Hasiru Karnataka’ (green Karnataka) project which comprises large-scale planting of saplings. The CM planted a sapling and distributed several others during Independence Day celebrations. The project involves planting saplings on government land in association with schools/colleges, departments and nongovernmental organisations. “Everyone should plant trees to ensure green cover in enhanced in the city,” he said.

Members of the Presentation Girls’ High School band in Dharwad were left inconsolable after they were not allowed to perform at Independence Day celebrations organized by the district administration on Wednesday.

The girls were asked to step in and perform as the police band, which usually plays at official functions, was reportedly busy performing at the inauguration of a court complex in Hubballi. However, when the girls arrived at the district stadium for the celebrations on Wednesday, they were denied an opportunity to showcase their talent.

“We had practiced for 15 days for this event and now our efforts have been wasted,” one of the girls said.

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