Minister for Medium and Major Irrigation M.B. Patil said the Congress government was ready to extend Tubachi-Babaleshwar lift irrigation project to Jath taluk of Sangli district of Maharashtra, if the Maharashtra government agrees to pay differential amount for the project.

Speaking at the meeting of Congress workers of Babaleshwar constituency here on Monday, he said that the government was ready with a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project which would be implemented within three months.

“The people of Jath taluk of Sangli district, that has a large population of Kannadigas, have sought the extension of Karnataka’s project to mitigate their water problems. Our government too is in favour of extending the project, provided the government of Maharashtra bears the financial expenditure for extending the project,” Mr. Patil said.

Mentioning one of the strategic reasons for accepting the proposal of Maharashtra, he said that by helping Maharashtra, Karnataka would have a justifiable right to seek the release of water from Koyna dam of Maharashtra to Krishna River during the summer season, which would provide water to Bagalkot and Bijapur districts.

Centre grants

Claiming that the Union government has granted over Rs. 5,000 crore to Karnataka for various irrigation projects, Mr. Patil said that in the past, Karnataka received only around Rs. 700 crore.

He said the funds had been given for the modernisation of Narayanpur Left Bank Canal and for Upper Tunga Irrigation Project.

Informing that the tank-filling project had been taken up extensively in State, he said that two tanks – Begam Talab and Bhutnal tank of Bijapur city – would be desilted and included under the tank-filling project to provide drinking water facility to Bijapur city.

Mr. Patil, who is also the District in-charge Minister, said that a Rs. 65 crore Multi-Village scheme to provide drinking water to 23 villages of Babaleshwar, his constituency, would commence from December.

‘No money for temples’

Minister for Medium and Major Irrigation M.B. Patil asserted that from now on, he would not give funds from his local area development fund for the construction of temples.

Speaking at the Congress party workers’ meet here on Monday, he said that he would grant the funds only for the construction of toilets, schools, roads and improving other amenities.

“In no case will the funds be given to temples as we already have too many temples. Instead, the funds will be given for improving living standards of the people of the constituency,” he said.

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