Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said he would make all efforts to get justice for the state on the Kalasa Banduri project related to inter-state Mahadayi river as the Centre kept in abeyance its earlier communication regarding environment clearance to it.
In a reprive to Goa, with which Karnataka has a dispute over sharing the Mahadayi river water, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) on Wednesday kept in abeyance its October 17 letter stating that the proposed project does not need an environment clearance.
The move comes after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who is in New Delhi to attend the GST Council meeting, met Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday, seeking withdrawal of the letter. “I will convince (those concerned)… I have already spoken to those concerned, I will try and set things right. Mahadayi has been a long struggle for us, I will try to get justice for the state,” Yediyurappa said.
Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, he said, “I will look into it, I’m yet to get details on why such a step was taken (by the Centre), and see to that it doesn’t happen.” Karnataka government, which has locked horns with Goa on the larger issue of sharing Mahadayi River water between both the states, has also been fighting a long battle with the neighbouring state with regard to Kalasa Banduri Nala project.
The project, which involves diverting water from Mahadayi river into the Malaprabha river, is aimed at providing drinking water to three important districts of north Karnataka-Belagavi, Gadag and Dharwad- which go parched in summer due to acute water scarcity.
Opposition Congress and JD(S) criticised the ruling BJP at both the Centre and the state, accusing it of neglecting Karnataka’s interest after reaping electoral gains. “It has become a habit for BJP to use Kannadigas during elections and then to oppress them when it comes to programmes, projects and grants…,” former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy tweeted.
BJP leaders of the state after seeking votes during election promising to resolve the Mahadayi issue, have now lost their voice fearing Modi, he charged. Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah accused the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of bowing down to Goa’s pressure and betraying Kannadigas.
In a series of tweets, the former chief minister demanded that Yediyurappa call an all-party meeting to discuss about “injustice” to Karnataka and lead a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put pressure on the issue.
State Congress Working President Eshwar Khandre said “they (BJP) behave and make statement differently when there is election and once it is over. If any injustice happens to the state on the Mahadayi issue, Congress will not tolerate and will agitate against it.”
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