Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai informed the Legislative Council that the State government was working on a comprehensive and pragmatic framework on rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) works for the families affected by irrigation projects across the State. A policy measure was already under way, he said in response to the Leader of the Opposition S.R. Patil on the ineffective R&R works already executed by the government for the people affected by the Upper Krishna Project and other projects across the State. Mr. Bommai said R&R was a serious matter indeed and called for a comprehensive framework for planned and proper measures.

The policy would ensure that the “standard of living of the loser was better than the beneficiary”.

He admitted to shortcomings in the R&R works done for families displaced by Stage I and State II under the UKP in north Karnataka region. The government had already entrusted the Dharwad-based Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR) to prepare the framework.

The State government has already held three rounds of talks on a draft Bill on land acquisition and R&R works, he said.

Mr. Patil demanded that the government accord top priority to R&R works in respect of nearly 21,800 families to be displaced by the Stage III works under the UKP.