CM seeks help of MPs, ministers from State for clearances

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday sought help from the Union ministers as well as the members of Parliament from the State to get early clearances from the Centre for grant mining permission in 108 hectares of land.

The chief minister, who held a dinner meeting with parliamentarians from Karnataka to discuss projects in the State pending with the Centre, said that to revive the mining sector, the State government has identified 108 hectares of land for excavating iron ore.

The Centre's approval is mandatory for allowing mining in the identified areas, mainly from the Ministry of Mines as well as the Ministry for Environments and Forests. The parliamentarians from the State should put pressure on the ministries concerned and get early clearances, Siddaramaiah said.

The closed-door meeting was attended by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Minister of state for Heavy Industries Siddeshwara, and BJP and Congress MPs.

However, the JD(S) MPs were not present at the meeting. The reasons for their absence were not known. In the meeting, Siddarmaiah said the State MPs should ensure that the Government of India does not cut funds under MGNREGS to the State and releases the balance funds.

He also requested them to get the Centre’s help in securing clearances for three major irrigation projects- Upper Bhadra, Yettinahole and Bhadra Canal, which have been pending for want of approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for many years.

The chief minister also raised the issue of delay in getting Rs 2,200 crore from the central government for different projects being implemented in the State.

Earlier speaking to mediapersons, Siddaramaiah attacked the BJP, saying that the opposition party in the State was politicising the problems faced by sugar cane farmers, rather than finding solutions to them.

The chief minister said that his government would politically handle the threat by the opposition parties, the BJP and the Janata Dal(S), to lay siege to the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, during the winter session of the legislature.

Reacting to the statement by State unit president of the BJP, Pralhad Joshi, against the State government on sexual assault cases, the chief minister said Joshi was trying to get political mileage out of the issue. Siddaramaiah said that he had never tried to politicise these issues in his political career.

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