News Karnataka
Thursday, April 18 2024

Shivakumar’s upper Bhadra remark sparks national status row

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Bengaluru: On Monday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar sparked controversy by asserting that the Upper Bhadra irrigation project is currently being contested as not being a national project.
The state unit of the BJP, however, maintains that the Centre had declared the Upper Bhadra project as a national project in the 2023-24 Union Budget.
Upper Bhadra is one of the major irrigation projects of the state which intends to irrigate lakhs of acres of land in central Karnataka.
The declarations were made ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the Budget announced the allocation of Rs 5,300 crore funds for the project.
The previous BJP government had claimed it as a major contribution to the state with then CM Basavaraj Bommai claiming that no national project has got such large amount of funds, thanking the BJP-led Central government for it.
However, speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar claimed that the Upper Bhadra project was earlier publicised as a national project but now it is said that it is not a national project.
“The Union government had assured to give Rs 5,000 crore-plus by declaring the Upper Bhadra project as a national project. Now, it is claiming that it is not a national project. What should I do now,” he asked.
Commenting on pending bills to contractors, Shivakumar said, “In Bengaluru, we do not know when the works were tendered and sanctions were given. We have seen bills not being paid for two to three years. The contractors had come to meet.
“If the work is done genuinely, we don’t have a problem in releasing money. The contractors have suffered and we have some responsibility. In our department, I have Rs 600 crore funds, but the bills have come to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore. Whom should I sanction?”
Meanwhile, A. Narayanaswamy, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, maintained that efforts are being made to make the Upper Bhadra project a national project.

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