Go Ahead for Kalasa-Bhanduri Project Gimmick by BJP: Karnataka Congress

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HUBBALLI — The Karnataka Congress on Monday came down heavily on the ruling BJP in connection with the consent given by the Union government for the Kalasa-Banduri project and dubbed it as an ‘election gimmick’ of the saffron party.

Calling the BJP an ‘university of lies’, state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar said, “The BJP is coming out with one lie after the other in connection with the issue of Mahadayi river,” he said.

In a major boost to the BJP government in Karnataka, the Centre on December 29 approved the detailed project report (DPR) of the Kalasa-Banduri project.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala is a project undertaken by the Karnataka government to improve drinking water supply to Belagavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad and Gadag districts. It involves building a dam across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert water to Malaprabha river, a tributary of Krishna river.

The project is being opposed by both Goa and Maharashtra. The total catchment area of the Mahadayi basin is 2,032 sq km, of which the catchment of the river in Goa is about 1,580 sq km (78 per cent). About 375 sq km (18 per cent) of the catchment area falls in Karnataka, while for Maharasthra it is 77 sq km (4 per cent).

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had termed the decision as a commitment of the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the development of Karnataka.

The people in north Karnataka region have been demanding to implement the project for more than three decades. The project would end the water crisis in the major districts in the north Karnataka region.

The decision would also prove to be a shot in the arm for the BJP in the state, which is going to the polls in less than four months’ time.

The Kalasa-Banduri project, which became an inter-state dispute between Karnataka and Goa, was prepared in 1978. It was then called the ‘M’hadayi project’.

“There are 26 BJP MPs in Karnataka. Did they discuss anything about the Mahadayi project before,” Shivakumar asked, adding: “They could have discussed and resolved the matter between Karnataka and other states.”

Since the elections are nearing, BJP leaders are enacting drama after drama, Shivakumar alleged. — IANS

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