BELAGAVI: Even as the estimated cost of major irrigation projects, including the Upper Krishna Project phase-3, Upper Bhadra, Kalasa-Banduri, Mekedatu, and Yettinahole, runs into several lakhs of crores of rupees, the funds set aside for the same by CM Basavaraj Bommai in his maiden budget is meagre.
Experts feel that the funds for the said projects cannot be spent, especially on projects like UKP-3, Mekedatu and Kalasa-Banduri, which are caught in legal tangles. As far as the Mekedatu project is concerned, a petition from Tamil Nadu is pending before the Cauvery tribunal. Even if the DPR is approved, the work can be taken up only after the Centre gives environmental clearance.
According to sources, “To prevent the Congress from taking any mileage from its recent Mekedatu padayatra, the CM has set aside Rs 1,000 crore for Mekedatu project.” Speaking to TNIE, Mohan Katarki a Supreme Court advocate, opined: “Given the scale and estimated cost of the irrigation projects, the funds allocated appear symbolic. The UKP-3 project should have got at least Rs 10,000 crore annually.”