Cabinet panel to deal with inter-state water disputes

Cabinet panel to deal with inter-state water disputes

A four-member Cabinet sub-committee headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has been constituted to look at how Karnataka’s interests can be safeguarded in the inter-state water disputes concerning Krishna, Cauvery and Mahadayi rivers. (DH File Photo)

A four-member Cabinet sub-committee headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has been constituted to look at how Karnataka’s interests can be safeguarded in the inter-state water disputes concerning Krishna, Cauvery and Mahadayi rivers.  

“The sub-committee will be confined to the inter-state disputes, in that it will look at expediting matters in favour of the state’s interests and getting our share of water,” Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting on Monday. 

“Since 3-4 years, several matters pertaining to Krishna and Mahadayi are pending before the Supreme Court. A special leave petition on the Cauvery issue is also pending. The (previous) government should’ve worked proactively. Because it didn’t, these matters are stuck,” Bommai, a former water resources minister, said. 

“For example, in the Krishna dispute, the state had sought a notification by the Centre, which they said will be taken up after the review petition under Section 3(b) of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act is complete. It was completed in 2014, and still, we had not filed an appeal until three months ago. So, this needs to be taken forward now,” he said.

The sub-committee will also pursue with the Centre for necessary approvals for the balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery river near Mekedatu. The project will help regulate the flow of 177.25 tmcft of water and provide drinking water to the Bengaluru metropolitan region.

Besides Bommai, the sub-committee will have Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol and Revenue Minister R Ashoka as members.

Other decisions:

* Share of the government and employees under the New Pension Scheme to be increased from 10% to 14%, which will burden the exchequer by Rs 300 crore annually. 

* Restructuring a Rs 660-crore project to fill up 53 lakes in Davangere district. Approval to split the project and release Rs 250 crore for the first stage. 

* Extension of relaxation from floating tenders to drill borewells costing up to Rs 5 lakh in drought-hit areas till March 2020. 

* Recommending to the Governor release of 140 prisoners, serving long sentences, for good conduct

* Cabinet to meet every Tuesday.