Centre’s clearance for Kalasa-Banduri scheme: CM Bommai compliments PM Modi, Union Ministers Amit Shah

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the finally Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Kalasa-Bandura Project has got approval.

Pragativahini News, Belagavi:  Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the finally Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Kalasa-Bandura Project has got approval.
Talking to reporters in Suvarna Soudha here on Thursday, he said in 1988, the then CM S.R.Bommai had made an agreement with his Goa counterpart Rane but the subsequent governments failed to pursue it. The Mahadayi project was conceptualized by Badami MLA Betageri and R.T. Desai, and Betageri walked from Badami to the project site and did the mapping. According to an earlier agreement, Goa has to give water to Karnataka and in turn, Karnataka will give electricity to that state.
This was initially the project started by Karnataka Power Corporation. At that time, the Goan leaders contended that their state would face a shortage of water in case of sharing it with the neighboring Karnataka. The River Malaprabha takes birth in Kakambi.
Initially, it was decided to give a diversion to that river. When opposition came, it became the Kalasa-Bandura drinking water project during the tenure of the then Major Irrigation Minister H.K.Patil and it was opposed by the Goa government and became an inter-state water dispute.
Nothing happened despite many efforts. The Malaprabha Acchukattu Pradesh Raithara Samiti was established and walked 253 km to the project site and even it did not yield any result. In the 2009 Goa Assembly elections, then AICC President Sonia Gandhi declared that not a drop of water would be shared with anyone. So, the then BJP-JDS coalition government decided to go ahead with work in non-forest areas.
The then Water Resources Minister K.S.Eshwarappa, Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy, and Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa convinced the officials and got the subject passed in the Board meeting. At last in the State Cabinet meeting, CM Kumaraswamy had to pass the subject following pressure from Yediyurappa. Subsequently, the foundation stone was laid but the full-fledged work did not happen.
Bommai said when he became Water Resources Minister, a full-fledged tender was floated and allotted the construction of a 5 km inter-linking canal work. The subsequent state governments failed to do anything. In the meantime, the Government of Goa moved to the Supreme Court, and the then UPA Government headed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh filed an affidavit that it would constitute a tribunal.
Despite arguing that there was no need for the tribunal for such a small issue, the Congress Government did not reconsider its decision. When nothing happened in the next 2-3 years, the BJP leaders protested, and then only the work started.
After prolonged proceedings in the tribunal for many years, the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi notified the tribunal order. At the time the tribunal gave its directions, the  Congress Government filed an affidavit that it would not use the water. The State Government led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah built a big wall to the interlinking canal, and this is their achievement. Nowhere in the country, there is an example of building a wall for any project except in Karnataka which too by the Congress Government.
The CM said after all the hurdles were cleared, the DPR was prepared to keep in view the environment and inter-state disputes and got it approved. In the DPR, both hydrology and the interstate dispute had been cleared. With the way cleared, the tender will be called once the order on DPR comes to start work. While doing interlinking canal works, around 8-10 cases environmental-related cases were filed, and all of them were won by the state. This project has been kept outside the limits of Wildlife Protection.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi for extending full support to the cause of Karnataka. It’s a big success for the 30 years of struggle and the credit will also go to the farmers of that region for relentlessly standing with the government on this project.
The CM said there would be no problems since a notification has been issued in the tribunal. The government will take steps for the withdrawal of the cases filed against the farmers for taking part in this agitation. There will be no changes to the original plans of the project.

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