Belagavi : Water resources minister M B Patil on Wednesday informed the Karnataka Assembly that the Upper Krishna Project would be completed by 2018.
Replying to MLC Veeranna Mattikatti’s question, the minister stated that for the first time the state government has framed fresh rules according to the Centre’s Land Acquisition Act.
The land owners losing their land when the height of the Alamatti Dam is raised to 524 metres would be compensated as per the new rules. The estimated compensation would be about Rs 550 crore. In a bid to reduce the area submerged by the project, global tenders have been invited for a hi-tech radar survey of the area, Patil said.
Meanwhile, minister for environment, forest and ecology B Ramanath Rai revealed that 204,442 acres of forest land in Karnataka have been encroached upon.
Replying to a question from MLC Aiwan D’Souza in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, he said there have been over 100,000 cases of encroachments and steps are being taken to regularise the encroachments done prior to 1978. The state government will send a proposal to the Centre to regularise the encroachments of up to three acres after the requisite approvals from the state cabinet, the minister informed.
To another question from MLC Motamma, the minister stated that the process of recruiting officials to fill up the 2,500-odd vacant posts in the forest department would be done soon. The government has also taken steps to develop an elephant corridor near Sakaleshpur on 2,000 acres, the minister said.
New taluks, hoblis
Revenue minister Shrinivas Prasad informed that the state government has not dropped the plans to carve out new taluks. Along with the new taluks, new revenue sub-divisions and hoblis will also be carved out, the minister said in a reply to MLC Mahantesh Kavatagimath.
Referring to the Central government’s guidelines for payment of compensation to victims of natural calamities, Prasad said the state government was compelled to follow the guidelines which do not help make for the loss fully.
The state government has asked the Centre to revise guidelines and enhance the compensation.