K’tka demands to expedite Kalasa Banduri and Mekedatu dam projects (LD)

Delhi, Sep 18 : The Karnataka government has appealed to the Union government to expedite the process of granting the terms of reference for the Mekedatu project.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who is in New Delhi, met several Union ministers, including the Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar, on Friday and urged him to direct the concerned authorities to grant the terms of reference for the Mekedatu Project.

Yediyurappa also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning and requested him for early approval to the Mekedatu and Kalasa-Banduri Nala projects aimed at providing drinking water, which the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Goa are opposed to.

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The CM has also sought first stage forest clearance for the Kalasa and Banduri Nala projects in the state from Javadekar.

Besides meeting Javadekar, Yediyurappa also called on Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and sought early approvals and clearances for irrigation and drinking water projects including Mekedatu and Kalasa Banduri Nala to utilise Karnatakaa┬┐s share of water from these projects.

Mekedatu is a balancing reservoir and drinking water project which involves the construction of a balancing reservoir across the Cauvery river near Mekedatu, with a capacity of about 67.16 tmcft.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore, aiming to provide drinking water facilities to the Bengaluru Metropolitan region and its surrounding areas (4.75 TMC) and generate 400 MW of power as an additional benefit.

Despite the assurance that the project would not affect the Supreme Court order to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the lower riparian state has been vehemently opposing it, raising apprehensions that it will affect its share of water if the project is allowed.

On the other hand, the Kalasa-Banduri Project in the Mahadayi river basin aims to bring water to the drought-prone regions of Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag districts by diverting water from the inter-state Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka.

Goa is strongly opposing the Kalasa-Banduri project citing ecological devastation and increasing the salinity in the waters of the Mahadayi river.

The Chief Minister also urged the Jal Shakti Minister to declare irrigation projects like Upper Krishna Project Stage-III and Upper Bhadra Project as national projects.

Yediyurappa also called on Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, and urged him to release performance grants for urban local bodies amounting to Rs 29,520 lakh.

He also urged him to include Ballari, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Vijayapura city corporations under the Smart City scheme.

The Chief Minister appealed to Puri that the concessional fee, which has already been accrued to the Airports Authority of India, and due from the Bengaluru International Airport Limited be utilised for meeting the cost of additional land acquisition for the expansion of existing the AAI airports at Belagavi, Kalaburagi and Mangaluru in general and Mysuru in particular.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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