Karnataka CM Yediyurappa urges Centre for early approvals for Mekedatu, Kalasa-Banduri Nala projects


Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday urged the Centre for early clearances or approvals to Mekedatu and Kalasa-Banduri Nala projects aimed at providing drinking water supply, which the neighboring Tamil Nadu and Goa are opposed to, respectively.

Yediyurappa, who is in Delhi today met Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar and requested to direct the concerned authorities in the Ministry to grant the Terms of Reference for Mekedatu Project, the state Information Department said in an official release.

He also sought first stage forest clearance for Kalasa and Banduri Nala Projects in the state. Later, the CM also met Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and sought early approvals and clearances for irrigation and drinking water projects including Mekedatu and Kalasa Banduri Nala to utilise the precious water resources allocated to the State.

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Mekedatu balancing reservoir and Drinking water project involves construction of a balancing reservoir across river Cauvery near Mekedatu, with a capacity of about 67.16 tmcft.

The total cost of the project is worked out to be Rs 9,000 crores, aiming to provide drinking water facilities to Bengaluru Metropolitan region and its surrounding areas (4.75 TMC) and generate 400 MW of power as an additional benefit.

Despite assurance that the project will in no way affect Supreme Court order to release 177.25 tmcft Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the lower riparian state has been vehemently opposing it, raising apprehensions that it will be affected if the project takes shape.

On the other hand, the Kalasa-Banduri Project in the Mahadayi river basin aims to bring water to the drought-prone regions of Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag districts by diverting water from the inter-state Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka.

Goa has opposed the Kalasa-Banduri project claiming it would cause “ecological devastation” and increase the salinity in the waters of the Mahadayi river.

The Chief Minister also urged the Jal Shakti Minister to declare irrigation projects like Upper Krishna Project Stage- III and Upper Bhadra Project as “National Projects”.

These were also among the developmental issues pertaining to the State that Yediyurappa had discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the meeting, earlier in the day.

A release said, Yediyurappa also called on the Union Minister for Petroleum, National Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and requested to expedite the process of disinvestment of the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited. 

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