BENGALURU: CHIEF Minister Siddaramaiah has drawn the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the seriousness of the ongoing agitation for Mahadayi water in the state.
In a letter to Modi on Thursday, the CM urged the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of all the three riparian states -- Karnataka, Goa, Maharashatra -- at the earliest for a negotiated settlement of the water dispute.
“The agitation by the farmers, which has remained peaceful so far, might escalate into a dire situation which must be avoided in any event. In view of the evolving dire situation, I request you once again to consider convening an inter-state meeting of all the riparian states at the earliest,” Siddaramaiah wrote.
He also reminded Modi of his earlier letter on April 26 this year seeking his intervention to resolve the dispute.
Farmers in the Malaprabha river basin are losing patience since the dispute has been referred to a Tribunal which could take a long time to deliver its final order, Siddaramaiah said.
The Tribunal has rejected Karnataka’s plea for an interim order to allow the state to draw 7.56 tmcft water from the Mahadayi river to Malaprabha reservoir through two canals at Kalasa and Banduri.
‘Not opposed to GST’
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said he was not opposed to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The Congress had sought minor amendments to the Bill in the interest of the public and hence, the passage of the Bill got delayed, he said. He told reporters that the concern had always been that the percentage of tax should not exceed 18. The Bill was conceptualised by the UPA government to streamline the tax regime. “The Bill was given form during the tenure of the UPA government. GST, in various forms, has been adopted in 150 countries and the tax ranges from 14 to 16 per cent. We are insistent that it should be kept as low as possible,” he said. Siddaramaiah also said the GST, which will come into effect from April next year, will boost the economic environment.