State moots Rs 45,000-cr drinking water project

The state government is planning a mega project to meet drinking water needs of all the districts in the state.

The scheme is estimated to cost Rs 45,000 crore. A proposal in this regard will be submitted to the Centre soon so that the state can go in for external loans to fund the project, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi, Siddaramaiah said drinking water would be sourced from various water bodies including rivers and dams.

The state government is preparing the project report and will finalise the proposal once the Centre gives its approval to support the venture, Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister said Tamil Nadu was not facing distress and there was no immediate need to release the Cauvery water to the neighbouring state.

Reacting to Tuesday’s bandh in Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery issue, Siddaramaiah said the present water availability in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in the State was barely sufficient to meet Karnataka’s drinking water needs. However, Tamil Nadu had sufficient water storage (34 tmcft) in its Mettur dam. Deficient rainfall had resulted in low reservoir levels in the river basin. Tamil Nadu in its petition before the Supreme Court had not mentioned the distress in the Cauvery basin, he said.
CM hints at George’s re-induction
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday indicated that former minister K J George could be re-inducted into the Cabinet soon. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said two Cabinet berths were vacant and one had been reserved for George. “The second one will be filled up after consulting the party high command”, he said.
Chairpersons of various boards and corporations would be appointed soon, he said. George had quit as minister recently following an uproar by the Opposition over the DySP M K Ganapathi suicide issue.

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