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Sunday, April 14 2024

Bengaluru: Centre approves Kalasa-Bhanduri project

Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The Central government on Thursday December 29 approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Kalasa-Bhanduri project in the Mahadayi river basin.

The people of northern Karnataka region have been demanding and agitating for the implementation of the project — a dam, for the last three decades.

The project is expected to end the water crisis in major districts of north Karnataka region.

Sources believe that the decision would prove to be a shot in the arm for the BJP in the state, which is going to the polls in less than four months.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has stated that this is the commitment of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre towards the development of the state.

“I am happy. Thirty years of struggle is being won. It is a victory of the northern Karnataka farmers,” he said.

“I will call for the tender as early as possible,” he added.

CM Bommai further said that ahead of the 2009 Goa assembly elections, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had made an open statement that she would not allow a single drop of water to go out of Goa to be utilised by Karnataka.

Then Siddaramaiah-led Congress government wrote to the tribunal that Karnataka won’t utilise water and built a wall to the canal, Bommai said.

The Kalasa-Bhanduri project, which became an inter-state dispute between Karnataka and Goa majorly was proposed in 1978.

Then it was called the ‘Mahadayi project’ and then Chief Minister late S.R. Bommai showed interest in implementing the project. However, the project was later halted as the government of Goa opposed it in 1988.

Later, in 1989, S.R. Bommai held a meeting with his counterpart in Goa, Pratap Singh Rane. However, the project did not move as the successive governments in Goa opposed it.

On April 30, 2002, the Centre gave approval for diverting 7.56 TMC of water from the Malaprabha River to Kalasa-Bhanduri valley.

Goa objected and demanded formation of a tribunal. The approval by the Centre was withdrawn. In 2010, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal was formed.

CM Basavaraj Bommai said that the forest, hydrology and interstate issues are cleared.

He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Central Water Resources Minister Gajendra Shekawat, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mine Pralhad Joshi.

The project was opposed by Goa and Maharashtra.

The total catchment of the Mahadayi basin is 2,032 sq km of which the catchment of the river in Goa is about 1,580 sq km (78 per cent).

Karnataka has about 375 sq km (18 per cent) and 77 sq km (4 per cent) in Maharashtra.

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