STATES

BJP delayed project to expand its Tamil Nadu base: Karnataka leader of opposition Siddaramaiah

By Express News Service

KANAKAPURA(RAMANAGARA DISTRICT): Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah on Sunday reiterated that the BJP governments at the Centre and the state delayed the implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery in order to expand their base in Tamil Nadu.

“Hence the Centre is not giving environmental clearance for the project and Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol should be ashamed of himself for not showing courage to get it done,” he said, while addressing the gathering at the launch of its 10-day padayatra with the theme ‘Namma neeru, namma hakku’ (Our water, our right) at the Sangama.

KPCC president DK Shivakumar 
enjoys a coracle ride in the Cauvery river 
on Sunday | VINOD KUMAR T

“Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai sat on a dharna against the project. CT Ravi, BJP national general secretary, supported him. To improve their strength in Tamil Nadu, they have betrayed the rights of Kannadigas on the Mekedatu issue,” he thundered.

The former CM said there was no stay by the Supreme Court on the project as the DPR was prepared in consultation with senior counsel Fali S Nariman as there were no legal hurdles. “But the double engine governments in the state and at the Centre have not taken any initiative to implement the project,” he added.

He also claimed that 6,500 acres of forests would get submerged after the implementation of the project and the government has identified 10,000 acres of land to hand it over to the forest department to compensate for the damage caused. “The Centre has also agreed to it in-principle,” he said. Siddaramaiah said the proposed project will also help Tamil Nadu as surplus water to the tune of 260 tmcft can be saved.

FIR filed against organisers

BENGALURU: The Ramanagara district administration on Sunday filed an FIR against the organisers of the Mekedatu padayatra at Sangama for holding a programme attended by over 7,000 people in violation of Covid-19 norms.

“We have booked the organisers in general and have been closely watching the videos of the event to take action against the persons in particular which will be ascertained by Monday,” Deputy Commissioner K Rakesh Kumar told TNIE. The DC had also issued a notice earlier to KPCC president D K Shivakumar.

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