November 15, 2021 3:07:42 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai batted for the state’s rights on inter-state rivers, river-linking initiatives and related projects in a meet chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday.
The chief minister in his address at the 29th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council held in Tirupati said Karnataka should get its rightful share in Cauvery, Krishna and Pennar river basins. Citing the Polavaram project, which will interlink Godavari and Krishna rivers, Bommai said that Karnataka’s ‘rightful share’ should be ensured as the Krishna river flows to a large extent through Karnataka and the Cauvery originates in the state and flows through large swathes of its territory.
Urging the Centre to not give statutory clearances to large-scale permanent projects planned for utilising surplus waters in violation of water tribunal awards, Bommai said: “The Detailed Project Report (DPR) that has been envisaged by the National Water Development Agency doesn’t give even one TMC of the rightful share of water. Therefore, we strongly plead that while making a final DPR, our rightful share in the Cauvery-Krishna-Pennar basin be restored as was envisaged earlier.”
Taking exception to the Cauvery-Vagai-Gundar link project, he said, “Although the shares of co-basin states have not been decided, Tamil Nadu is going ahead with the CVG link, which is inadmissible in law.” Karnataka had urged the Centre in its letter dated February 17, 2021 to not approve the proposal of Tamil Nadu for taking up the CVG link as an advance action in anticipation of the Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link project.
“The share of water of all riparian states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – has to be decided before Tamil Nadu takes up its CVG link. We have already requested the Government of India in this regard. I request the home minister to look into the matter and give justice to all the southern states,” the CM said.
Bommai also demanded that no statutory clearances be given to large-scale permanent projects, planned for utilising surplus waters in violations of water tribunal awards.
Bommai raised objection to the lift irrigation projects at Palamuru, Rangareddy and Nakkalagandi (Telangana) to draw a large quantity of remaining surplus water. The Karnataka chief minister also sought a joint survey with respect to the construction of Gundravulu project across the Tungabhadra river by Andhra Pradesh to determine the extent of submergence of villages and land in Karnataka.
He also requested Andhra Pradesh to furnish details on the allocation of water and approvals obtained from the Centre on the Gundravulu project. “The projects in Telangana or Andhra Pradesh in the name of saving or temporary use of surplus water would permanently affect the northern parts of Karnataka,” Bommai said.
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