The government is committed to completing all the schemes under the Upper Krishna Project (UKP) within five years, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said.
He was addressing reporters, after offering ‘bagina’ to River Krishna at the Lal Bahadur Shastri reservoir at Almatti in Bagalkot district on Tuesday. He said that his government would not mind even if the schemes cost Rs 60,000 crore as against Rs 50,000 crore estimated earlier.
He said that the government would not loot the lands of the farmers, but would offer them the best price to realise the dream of total irrigation. Siddaramaiah said that the land price would be decided by a high-level committee under his chairmanship.
The chief minister said that the government would welcome industries and investment to the State and was ready to provide all facilities for industrialists to establish their units here. “Land for such industries would be given after getting a land audit report,“ he said, adding that not an inch of fertile land of farmers would be forcibly snatched. He said that the State had a lot of barren land which would be given for establishing industries.
The chief minister made it clear that he had never said that Rs 10,000 would be earmarked for the schemes of the UKP alone. He said he had promised of allotting Rs 10,000 crore every for completing all irrigation schemes in the State, including the schemes of the Cauvery basin.
He said that of the Rs 9,813 crore allotted in the budget for irrigation schemes, only Rs 500 crore would be for the schemes in the Cauvery basin and the rest for schemes under the UKP.
When pointed out that there was no commissioner and engineers for undertaking the land acquisition and rehabilitation process, he said that a proposal to appoint the commissioner was with him and very soon, the officer and the engineers would be appointed.
He said that in the current year Rs 374 crore had been earmarked for railway works in the State.
Siddaramaiah reiterated the government’s commitment to set right regional imbalances as per the observations of the Nanjundappa committee, which had suggested that Rs 31,000 crore be spent to set right the imbalances over a period of 16 years. He said that he had allotted Rs 2,925 crore in his budget towards implementing the recommendations of the Nanjundappa report.
Ministers M B Patil, S R Patil, Umashree and several MLAs were present on the occasion.