Bengaluru: Karnataka to seek PM’s help in drinking water project

Bengaluru, Aug 24 (IANS) An all-party delegation led by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday for a drinking water canal project in the state’s northern region.

“We all are meeting Modi in New Delhi tomorrow (Monday) to convince him for central intervention to implement the Kalasa-Banduri drinking water supply project,” Siddaramaiah told reporters after an all-party meeting here.

The project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of Mahadayi river to divert 7.6 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water to Malaprabha river for supplying it to Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag districts.

As the 77km-long Mahadayi or Mandovi river flows to Goa from Karnataka on the west coast to the Arabian Sea, the former has been objecting over sharing its water, as 52km of it stretch is in its state and is a lifeline for its people.

“We have been trying to convince Goan leaders over the years that our project does not affect the flow of the river into their state, as about 200 tmc of its water is anyway going into the sea every year unutilized,” Siddaramaiah said.

When the then Goa government approached the Supreme Court in September 2006 to prevent Karnataka going ahead with the project, the central government had set up the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal on November 16, 2010 to resolve the dispute.

“We will prevail upon the prime minister to call for a meeting of the two chief ministers along with officials at the earliest to resolve the issue, as the districts are reeling under drought due to deficit monsoon,” Siddaramaiah reiterated.

The opposition BJP, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), the Left parties and regional outfits supported the ruling Congress in seeking Modi’s intervention, as the people of the region, especially farmers have been agitating for water supply to their cities, towns and villages across the arid region.

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