Bengaluru: CM Siddaramaiah to meet PM Narendra Modi Monday

Bengaluru (PTI): Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lead an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow, seeking Centre’s relief to mitigate farmers’ issues and also request his intervention in resolving the inter-state Mahadayi river dispute.

Siddaramaiah today held meeting of floor leaders, MLAs, Union Ministers and MPs from Karnataka here in this regard.

“We have discussed in detail, we have decided to convince the Prime Minister,” Siddaramaiah told reporters after the meeting.

“We have been advised to apprise the Prime Minister of the importance of the Mahadayi river issue and problem faced by people of the region and request him to call meeting of Chief Ministers of concerned states- Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka- and mediate to solve the issue through out of court settlement.”

Several places in north Karnataka including Hubballi and Dharwad are witnessing protests by public and various organisations demanding that the Kalasa-Banduri canal project be taken up, over which the state has locked horns with neighbouring Goa.

Siddaramaiah said, “Our delegation will give memorandum to Prime Minister on Mahadayi issue, on drought situation in the state, on problem faced by farmers cultivating sugarcane, grape, pomegranate and sericulture.

“We will together try to convince the Prime Minister on all these issues, especially on Mahadayi issue,” he added.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project, which will utilise 7.56 TMC ft of water from the inter-state Mahadayi River, is being undertaken by Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

It involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi River, to divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha River which supplies the drinking water needs of the region.

Few farmers from north Karnataka region today staged a protest in front of Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, as the meeting of floor leaders on Mahadayi issue was on. They demanded that they, too, be included in the meeting.

Siddaramaiah after the meeting met with the protesters and tried to convince them.

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