BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence in the commencement of Mekedatu Project works once the Supreme Court gives its nod.
The former Congress government led by Siddaramaiah ‘erred’ at the initial stage of embarking upon the Mekedatu Project leading to legal battle with Tamil Nadu, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday. "We told the then State Government about the error (on Mekedatu Project) but the leaders ignored it,” he said.
The State Government plans to construct a balancing reservoir (to make use of surplus water) across River Cauvery in Ramnagar district to supply water to Bengaluru city, Ramnagar and other parts.
Asked when the works on Mekedatu would start after the State Government earmarked Rs 1,000 crore in the previous budget, Bommai said budgetary allocations were made to the Mekedatu Project keeping in mind the works to start once the Supreme Court gave its clearance. He said “A Detailed Project Report is an important stage of the Project. Without approval for DPR nothing can happen.”
Continuing on Mekedatu, the Chief Minister said “The Project is stuck in the DPR stage and the forest department has sought some clarifications and would give clarifications on them.” He hoped that the tenders would be invited soon and that the works would start on the Project.
As Union budget ear marked Rs 5,300 crore for Upper Bhadra Project of the State, Bommai alleged that when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power, irrigation projects never got funds under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme which had terms and conditions and owing to terms and conditions, irrigations projects of the State never got funds for early completion.
But, only after National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he said, the projects have started to receive funds “directly” and thanked Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for funding UPB with Rs 5,300 crore which he termed a “major boost” for its early completion. Upper Bhadra Project is aimed at providing water to Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Davanagere and Chikkamagaluru districts through River Bhadra.
For the Upper Bhadra Project, Bommai, it has been a long pending demand of the people since the 1960s and nothing substantial happened till 2008 except for killing time over Detailed Project Report (DPR).
After B.S. Yediyurappa (BJP) became the Chief Minister, he said, the Upper Bhadra Project picked pace. From drawing 16 tmc feet of water, he said, now the Upper Bhadra Project envisages to make use of 23 tmc feet of water....