Members of the Legislative Council, on Tuesday, appealed to the State Government to take up the implementation of the third phase of the Upper Krishna project, Mahadayi project and shift important offices to North Karnataka to address the backwardness of the area.
Leader of the Opposition S.R. Patil, taking serious exception to the delay in getting the final order of Krishna Tribunal notified in the gazette, said the State Government should give attention to complete the project in record time.
Drawing a comparison with Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation project of Telangana State, Mr. Patil said a newly born small state had completed the project with an estimated cost of ₹1.2 lakh crore in record three years.
“The third phase of the UKP requires only ₹60,000 crore and only 1.32 lakh acres had to be acquired. This can be completed within one-and-half-a-year. Let the government take it as a challenge and complete it,” he said.
The people of seven districts to be benefited by the project would be ever grateful to the government if the work was completed. He also took objection to the government’s move to acquire the land in a phased manner.
“Taking away farmer’s land for any project is like taking away his life. If you acquire his land in a phased manner, it is nothing but torturing him. Acquire the land required for the project at one go,” he said.
Regarding the Mahadayi project, the Congress leader said the project had been delayed due to the delay in getting the forest clearance. The project was originally planned by former Chief Minister S.R. Bommai. His son Basavaraj Bommai had taken out a padayatra demanding the implementation of the project. “Now Basavaraj Bommai himself has become the CM. He has got an opportunity to implement the project. He should make use of the occasion,” Mr. Patil said.
Shifting of offices
He also urged the State Government to shift a few offices concerned to Water Resources Department, Social Welfare Department to Kittur Karnataka and Kalyana Karnataka to ensure development of backward areas.
JD(S) member K.T. Srikante Gowda, who began the debate on the issue, said former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda had played a major role in the irrigation projects of north Karnataka. “In order to clear the hurdles in taking up the third phase of UKP, the State Government should take an all-party delegation to Union Government and meet the Prime Minister,” he said.
Congress member C.M. Ibrahim intervened to suggest the State Government adopt a resolution in both the Houses of Legislature on pending irrigation projects. “Both the Houses should adopt unanimous resolution in the interest of north Karnataka,” he said.
JD(S) members K.A. Thippeswamy, Marithibbe Gowda and BJP member Hanamanth Nirani also spoke on the issue.
Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti had allotted time to discuss issues concerned to North Karnataka on the day, taking note of comments in media criticising the way the session was being conducted.