BJP gives conditional nod for Bethri project

Madikeri City Municipal Corporation, which has a majority of Congress members, gave its nod for the Bethri project which intends to provide Cauvery water to Madikeri. The BJP members of the CMC have agreed for the implementation of the project on certain conditions.

CMC Commissioner Pushpavathi tabled the Detailed Project Report of the project prepared by Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB), for approval at the CMC general meeting on Tuesday.

Speaking on the project, she said that the project will be implemented to draw water from River Cauvery, flowing at a place called Bethri. Apart from Madikeri, eight villages will also be supplied water. The total project cost is Rs155 crore, she said.
The project cost includes 60 per cent state government grant (Rs 93.39), 30 per cent of Economic Organisation loan (Rs 46.69 crore) and 10 percent of local body share ( Rs 15.56 crore). The local body share comprises of contribution from Madikeri CMC and eight Gram Panchayats, she said.

CMC Member T S Prakash from BJP said that Kundamestri project is being implemented to provide water for Madikeri during summer. Hence, there is no requirement to draw water at Bethri, the expenditure of which is to the tune of hundreds of crore rupees.
He meanwhile added that the CMC should avail permission from Cauvery Water Board, before proceeding further.

K S Ramesh from BJP said that the CMC has provided lots of funds for Kundamestri project. If the approval is granted for Rs 155 crore project, the CMC will not be left with enough funds for the maintenance of the project. Already, several development works have been pending due to shortage of funds.

Another BJP member P D Ponnappa said that though the BJP is not against the project, it is dogmatic about the successful execution of the same. The water projects should be able to provide water round the clock. The complete cost of the project should be borne by the government, without burdening local bodies, he urged.

After a prolonged discussion, CMC President Julekabi confirmed the approval for the project by CMC.
Illegal bar
During a discussion, SDPI Member Amin Mohisin alleged that a bar has been illegally opened in the land belonging to CMC near private bus stand. In spite of Deputy Commissioner’s directions to initiate action, the CMC Commissioner has not acted upon so far, he alleged. CMC Commissioner Pushpavathi said that the records of the land are being verified and stern action will be taken against bar owners, if found illegal, she said.
A refund trail
BJP Member T C Prakash alleged that Rs 15 lakh payment towards the new CMC building was not paid to the contractor, as the building construction was not carried out properly. But the bill was paid after the CMC Commissioner took over, he said.
Commissioner Pushpavathi replied that she was not informed earlier and after learning about the situation, she has served a notice to the contractor, asking him to refund the amount to the CMC.
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