From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Jun 1: Karnataka’s Mekedatu drinking water project, for which the previous BJP regime had allocated Rs 1,000 crore in this year’s budget, to utilise the surplus Cauvery water will not affect neighbouring Tamil Nadu in any manner, asserted Deputy Chief Minister and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Shivakumar, who is also the KPCC President, was speaking to media persons after holding series of meetings in the party office.
The KPCC Chief said the Basavaraj Bommai government had allocated Rs 10000 crore for implementing the project in the State’s annual budget for the year 2023-24 after the Mekedatu padayatra launched by the State Congress leaders.
“Farmers in Tamil Nadu are like our brothers and family members. We do not want to fight with Tamil Nadu on the water issue,’’ he said and pointed out that the execution of the project would in fact be beneficial to Tamil Nadu.
He explained that the State has proposed to impound the rain water and excess water flowing into the Cauvery river during monsoon, which would have drained into the sea and even caused floods in the neighbouring State.
The deputy chief minister said the key for the dams across Cauvery, which originates and flows from Karnataka and then into Tamil Nadu are with the Centre and it is the Centre, which decides how much water to be released and when.
What Karnataka is proposing is to impound the surplus water that would have flown into the sea and utilise it for power generation and also meet the drinking water requirements of Bengaluru, Ramanagara and other districts, he said mentioning that the Cauvery water disputes tribunal has held that the State is free to utilise the water flowing to meet drinking water requirements.
DKS calls on BSY
Continuing his efforts of meeting senior leaders from other parties, starting with former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister S M Krishna as well as former Congress chief minister M Veerappa Moily, the deputy chief minister called on senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa at his residence and greeted him.
“Yediyurpapa is a senior leader and former chief minister. We may be in different parties. But I have always enjoyed cordial relations with him, even though we may have criticised each other. Nobody can deny that he is the tallest leader,’’ Shivakumar said.
Later, he held a meeting with leaders of different frontal organisations of Congress and their leaders besides meeting former Mayors of Bengaluru.
All City Legislators’ Meeting on Monday
After his meeting with the former Mayors of Bengaluru, Shivakumar said: “All of us want to develop Bengaluru and solve its various problems. I sought their suggestions for improving life in the city,’’ he said.
Shivakumar said the deadline for payment of property tax in Bengaluru with 5% rebate has been extended till the end of June.
He said discussions were being carried out on the issue of reorganisation of wards in the city. ``We are consulting party leaders and legal experts,’’ he said adding that he is holding a separate meeting of all party legislators from Bengaluru on Monday and seek their suggestions.
“Whatever decision is being taken will be in the larger interests of the development of the city,’’ he explained.