Time has come to revisit Inter-state River Water Disputes Act: Karnataka CM

Source: PTI | Published on 17th January 2022, 8:20 PM | State News |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said the time has come to revisit the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act as it creates more disputes than resolving them.

The Chief Minister spoke virtually at the inaugural of the ‘PM Gati Shakti’ southern zone conference chaired by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.

“There are some legal interventions that are necessary. Delay is the most costly affair which has been affecting our infrastructure. The delay in our irrigation projects are bogged down by the Inter-State Water Disputes Act. In fact, it creates more disputes than resolving them,” Bommai said.

He said the time has come to revisit the legislation and see to it that the multifold levels of addressing the inter-state water disputes are removed at one single stage.

“Especially on the basis of maximum utility of a river basin capacity and using technology, and giving away all political considerations, a win-win situation for all riparian states can be the solution. Let us start thinking anew on that. The structure and content in resolving these issues has to be re-addressed by the Government of India,” he added.

The Chief Minister’s statement has come at a time when the state has locked horns with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh regarding inter-state water disputes concerning Cauvery, Mahadayi and Krishna rivers.

Also, the state is pushing for clearances, especially environment-related ones, with regards to the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery to which Tamil Nadu is opposed.

Noting that some “basic impediments” need to be removed, referring to problems such as environmental and forest clearances at the central government level, Bommai said, “We have to maximise the scale of investment and relax certain rules in the finance sector, so that more investments can come through for infrastructure development.” He also stressed on the need for common Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules for all-round development of the entire Indian coastline, instead of each state with a coastline having its own.

Highlighting the need for a Bengaluru-Mysuru-Hyderabad high-speed rail line, the Chief Minister said upgrading of the 453 kilometre lane will bring new economic activity between the two states.

On the much-awaited suburban rail project for Bengaluru worth Rs 15,000 crore, Bommai said, “Bengaluru is an international city that contributes 40 per cent of the country’s IT/BT exports. It needs better infrastructure in terms of transportation, hence the suburban rail project needs more impetus and speed.” Bommai also requested Gadkari for central support to regional airports at Ballari, Shivamogga, Vijayapura and Hassan.

For tourism, heliports at Chikmagalur, Madikeri and Hampi are coming up, he said, adding, “Hampi, which is a UNICEF site, Badami and Vijayapura can be one circuit. Mysuru, Shravanabelagola, Belur and others can be another circuit. These should be on the national tourism map.”

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