HDK urge state MPs to work together against TN opposition in Mekedatu project
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Tuesday asked MPs from the state to stand together against any opposition by neighbouring Tamil Nadu to Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river during the winter session of Parliament. Tamil Nadu has demanded that the Centre withdraw its permission to Karnataka for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for a proposed balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project at Mekedatu across the Cauvery.
The previous Siddaramaiah government had decided to implement the Rs 5,912 crore Mekedatu Multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir with a capacity of about 66 tmcft, near Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district.
"Recently we have been asked to prepare a DPR with regard to the Mekedatu project, so during the session in parliament if Tamil Nadu raises the issue, our MPs forgetting their political differences should stand together with one voice in the interest of the state," Kumaraswamy said. Speaking to reporters after a chairing a meeting of MPs from Karnataka ahead of the winter session, he said all information with respect to the project has been shared with the MPs during the meeting.
Kumaraswamy said he had twice petitioned the Prime Minister requesting that the central government bear the 50 per cent burden of the farm loan waiver and alleged that there was "no clarity" from their end on the issue. "Twice when I had gone I had asked and even petitioner stating that the central government should bear 50 per cent burden of the farm loan waiver, we have asked MPs to request the same (to central government), but it is not that the state government is waiting dependent on it."
Pointing out that data has been collected about farm loan from commercial banks, Kumaraswamy said about 21 lakh account holders have obtained loans. "Final preparations are on," he said. "Let there be no anxiety or confusion on loan waiver, the state government will keep up its commitment made to farmers, whether there is help from the Centre or not, but we are appealing to them (centre for assistance)."
Noting that "debt free" certificates would be given to farmers from Sedam and Doddaballapura on a pilot basis from December 8, Kumaraswamy said in January a large meeting of about ten lakh farmers would be organised, where certificate issuing process will be initiated on a large scale.
He also lashed out at state BJP leaders, including its chief Yeddyurappa for criticising his government for not implementing the loan waiver scheme. The chief minister informed the MPs that proposals relating to about 15 departments were pending before the Centre and sought their support in getting them cleared. Expressing his reservation about National Disaster Response Fund guidelines and relief provided under it, while seeking changes, he also said MNREGA related amount worth over Rs 900 crore was still to be released for Karnataka.
(With inputs from agencies.)