Land acquisition holds up Yettinahole

Cost likely to exceed Rs 20,000 crore as land rates shoot up; land acquisition for reservoir holds up project

Published: 18th December 2019 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2019 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Acquisition of land for construction of a balancing reservoir seems to be delaying the ambitious Yettinahole integrated drinking water project, even as its cost has shot up from Rs 8,000 crore to over Rs 20,000 crore in the past seven years.

In 2012, the BJP government launched the project at an estimated cost of Rs 8,000 crore to divert water from Yettinahole, a major tributary of the Netravathi river, to meet the needs of water-scarce Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, parts of Bengaluru Rural and other districts.

In 2014, the Congress government accorded administrative approval for Rs 12,912.36 crore — lift component of Rs 3,527.17 crore, and conveyance components of Rs 9,385.17 crore.
“Now, the cost is likely to exceed Rs 20,000 crore as cost of land acquisition has increased after the new Land Acquisition Act came into force,” said a senior officer in the government.

Sources said that during the Congress and coalition government’s tenure, the project did not make much headway, and is unlikely to meet its deadline for completing the first phase by June 2020. It is now estimated that the project would be delayed by a year.

Now, acquisition of land for construction of a balancing reservoir at Bhairagondlu village in Koratagere taluk is delaying the project, and works to the tune of around Rs 5,000 crore have already been taken up. Tenders for the balancing reservoir project were called in November 2017, and the project was to have been completed within 18 months.

“For the project, 2,500 acres each in Koratagere and Doddaballapura taluks need to be acquired. While around Rs 32 lakh per acre is being given to farmers in Doddaballapura, Rs 20 lakh is being offered to farmers in Koratagere, based on guidance values in their respective taluks. However, farmers here are demanding higher compensation. The government needs to take a call on it,” said sources.

The issue is likely to come up for discussion at the next cabinet meeting, as Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has already expressed his intention to expedite pending drinking water and irrigation projects, sources said.


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