Amid allegations of delay in the release of funds and discrimination in its allocation for macro projects, the State government has approved a ₹1,500-crore action plan to take up about 1,400 works across seven districts of Kalyana Karnataka region as against the allocation of ₹3,000 crore to the Kalyana Karnataka Regional Development Board (KKRDB) in the 2022-23 Budget. The order has directed the board to prepare an action plan for works to the tune of ₹1,500 crore only. The allocation has been criticised as falling too short of expectations.
Highest in Koppal
While ₹1,200 crore out of the ₹1,500 crore has been approved to fund the micro and macro projects in these districts, the rest will come from discretionary funds from the Chief Minister, the Planning Minister, administrative costs, and regional funds. The highest number of micro and macro works will be taken up in Koppal at 270, followed by Bidar – 242 works, and Kalaburagi – 225 works. According to the order, 200 works will be taken up in Raichur, 190 works in Vijayanagara, 179 works in Yadgir, and 106 works in Ballari.
Sources said that while the Chief Minister approved the works for about ₹1,500 crore last month, the action plan for about ₹1,200 crore by the board was approved now. However, sources pointed out that the actual benefit to the Kalyana Karnataka region will be meagre since ₹1,000 crore under the special development programme (SDP) had been merged with the funds for the action plan.
“The KK region will get ₹1,000 crore under the SDP meant for aspirational taluks in Kalaburagi division under the D.M. Nanjundappa commission report instead of the annual ₹1,200 crore because the funds have been merged.” The sources said, “In all, the KKRDB gets funds of about ₹2,000 crore only as against the budget allocation of ₹3,000 crore. If the loss of ₹200 crore from the SDP is calculated, the board gets about ₹1,800, a ₹300 crore increase from the annual ₹1,500 allocation.”
Of the total 1,428 works for which funds have been approved, ₹862.16 crore has been set aside for 1,323 works classified as micro projects, and ₹ 268.4 crore has been released for 89 works classified as macro works. Besides those approved by the government, ₹60 crore will be released from the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota, ₹75 crore from the Planning Minister’s quota, ₹75 crore from the regional fund, ₹45 crore from the KKDB chairman’s discretionary quota, and ₹15 crore towards the administrative cost, sources explained.
Meanwhile, slamming the government for rescinding its promise, the former Minister and Congress leader Priyank Kharge said that what the government had done was an eyewash. “It is a routine allocation and the promised special or the additional fund has not been released.” He also said that allocations have been made to the Members of the Legislative Council against the rule and works had been approved without the consent of the board. “In the last three years, the government did not spend even ₹1,000 crore annually.”