Mekedatu padyatra: MB Patil says rally planned much before Covid rise

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Congress leader and former water resources minister MB Patil on Wednesday defended the party’s Mekedatu Padayatra amid increasing Covid cases, saying the new Omicron variant is not dangerous and is a mild flu.

He said, “It is not like the first and second waves. As a responsible party, we are taking all precautionary measures and are using masks and sanitisers.” Stating that the padayatra is a fundamental right, Patil said the rally was decided much before the cases started to rise.

Rubbishing allegations that Congress did not take any initiative to implement the project when in power, he said a feasibility report and also a Detailed Project Report (DPR) were prepared when Congress was in power and the DPR was also submitted. A revised DPR was submitted when DK Shivakumar was the water resources minister.

He said they had appointed consultants to prepare the feasibility report for Mekedatu and three other sites and to prepare a DPR. The government had also given administrative approval for the DPR for Rs 5812 crore. On June 7, 2017, the DPR was forwarded to the Central Water Commission (CWC) in Bengaluru, which suggested that as per the new guidelines, a pre-feasibility report has to be submitted. On October 9, 2017, the report was submitted to CWC, New Delhi.

After Central Water Commission  gave the nod on November 22, 2018, a revised DPR of Rs 9,000 crore was submitted on January 1, 2019, he said. Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol said, “Let Patil first reply to BJP’s questions instead of beating around the bush. Why did it take four years to prepare a DPR?”


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