The Kannada Prabha took up a Reality Check to see how Prime Minister Modi’s favourite and ambitious project MP’s Model Village Project was doing in the State. The villages that were under MP D V Sadananda Gowda were definitely a mark above the rest in terms of progress. Recently D V Sadananda Gowda was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation for his successful implementation of Model Village project. He is the only MP in the State to be awarded that. In an interview with D V Sadananda Gowda Kannada Prabha shares his thoughts.

 Your Model Village Project has received appreciation from the Central Government.

I did not embark on extra ordinary efforts to fulfill it.  I had selected Nettigere, Veerasandra and Bolare villages in the Somanahalli Gram Panchayath under Yeshwanthpura legislative constituency, Meenakunte, Uttanahalli, Maranayakanahalli, Tarabanahalli, Channalli, Pybanahalli and Kolipura villages in Byatarayanapura legislative constituency. For the past 3 years I undertok implementation of various projects and was sending the reports of integrated development of these villages time to time to the Central Rural Development Department. Naturally I received the Certificate of Merit. I am happy and wish to make the implementation more effective.

Did you implement the project only with the MP’s funds?

I have spent about Rs 17 to Rs 18 crores for this project. Apart from the government subsidy I have pooled in other funds also. Mere MP’s fund is not sufficient for this. Also an MP cannot utilise all the funds for one project. Then there will be protests from other parts of the constituency.

In such a case, how does an MP manage funds?

I have sought and received public fund.  Sponsors, industries, organisations have also helped in implementation.  The local organisations assisted to a great extent. We first formulate a team of officials and drew up an action plan.  We prepare an estimate about the necessities of the particular villages.  Then we look for procuring funds. We have issued certificate of merit to all those organisations that sponsored. They were very happy by that. For instance under the Swachh Bharath Abhiyan, to all those who offered to construct toilets we gave certificates signed by the Prime Minister, which they prize.

Have you accomplished anything significant through this project?

One major work accomplished is to pump water from Swarnamukhi River to the village tank.  We also got the Agriculture University to provide sheep to poor families to economically progress. WE have provided basic amenities and also fulfilled several needs of the people.

Was it difficult to implement Model Village Project?

I stayed at the village for 2 to3 days and met all the village leaders, inspired them and encouraged the people. All of them cooperated because the village was benefitting.  They set aside political differences and came together.  Also we must involve them by seeking help. All MPs must follow this, then it becomes easy.

Did you not get any assistance from the State Government?

It depends on the MP. Every year we get MP fund of Rs 5 crore. I have kept aside Rs 1 crore for Model Village Project. Along with it one should seek assistance. I took a subsidy of Rs 2 crores from Social Welfare Department.  Minister H Anjaneya was very cooperative. I am thankful to him.

Several MPs in the State have taken up this project half-heartedly…

This is Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious project. MPs should not take it up half-heartedly.

You received support may be because you are a Central Minister and your constituency is Vengaluru Urban. Not all can have such facilities.

Yes. May be I received more help because it was in Bengaluru Urban. However, in rural regions also there are donors and sponsors. MPs can take the assistance of Zilla and Gram Panchayats.

Many MPs sought separate subsidy for implementing this project.

Actually, rural development is more State oriented than Central.  Prime Minister Modi wishes that the State Governments, ZP, GP, TP should be taken into confidence for implementing this project.

Does the State Government feel that MP’s Model Village Project is a Centre’s initiative?

Yes, true. However, the MPs must take the local governance into confidence and implement. At the end of the day it is for the progress of the village and State.  The State Government can formulate a Legislator’s Model Village Project also.