BANGALORE: A meeting of ministers, legislators and representatives of various organisations of Dakshina Kannada has been convened in Bangalore in the next 8-10 days to clear their doubts about the Yettinahole drinking water project, said Water Resources Minister M B Patil.
The meeting has assumed importance in the wake of apprehensions about the project, which is meant to cater the water-starved districts of Hassan, Bangalore Rural, and Chikballapur by diverting water of Netravati River in Dakshina Kannada, as the locals feared it would affect their district.
Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Patil said the meeting would be chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. A few ministers and legislators of Dakshina Kannada district had opposed this project on the ground that it would divert the Netravathi River. “I am optimistic that the Chief Minister will clear all doubts.”
The Minister further said that Hyderabad-based National Institute of Hydrology had submitted its report stating that the water yield would be around 24 tmc ft. The Department of Water Resources had decided to involve other departments like Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Urban Development, and pose it as an integrated drinking water project before the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Union government seeking funds.
This project was open to modifications as per requirements of the other two departments and they were free to prepare separate Detailed Project Reports (DPR) either to remodel or change it.
Patil said a seven-member high-power committee comprising principal secretaries of various departments would be constituted to take the project further.
According to the report, only 0.72 per cent of water would be drawn from the Netravathi River. Since it was a drinking water project, all departments concerned would give their clearances at the earliest.
The government was committed to implement this project in right earnest and complete it within the stipulated period.
Answering a question, Patil said he had sought an additional `3,250 crore from the Chief Minister for completion of irrigation projects.
Already, the government had earmarked `10,000 crore for the year 2014-15 as promised in the election manifesto. In 2013-14, the state government had spent `6,730 crore of the total `8,402 crore within seven months. In 2012-13, irrigation potential was created in 53,743 hectares and in 2013-14 it was 93,851 hectares.
Restructuring on the Anvil
Minister Patil said the government has decided to restructure Command Area Development Authority, Water and Land Management Institute and Karnataka Engineering Research Centre since they have become almost defunct. Plans are afoot to involve universities and institutions to improve their functioning. The Chief Minister had also given some ideas for the optimum utilisation of those institutes.