Inter-State Water Disputes Act creating more disputes than resolving them: Karnataka CM

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai says many projects in Karnataka have been delayed, and bogged down by procedure

Updated - January 17, 2022 04:24 pm IST

Published - January 17, 2022 04:16 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

A file photo of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said irrigation projects in Karnataka are bogged down by inter-State river water disputes and asked the Centre to ‘revisit the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act since the law is creating more disputes than resolving them’.

“There are some legal interventions that are necessary. Our irrigation projects are delayed, bogged down by the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act. In fact, it creates more disputes than resolve them. Time has come to revisit this,” said Mr. Bommai during a virtual event related to the inauguration of ‘PM Gati Shakti’ South Zone Conference, chaired by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The Chief Minister’s comments assume significance as Karnataka has been pushing for environment and other clearances for the Mekedatu project that Tamil Nadu is opposing. The execution of many irrigation projects in Karnataka have been delayed due to inter-State river water disputes with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh.

The Chief Minister wants the Centre to revisit the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act to expedite the execution of irrigation projects in different States on win-win formula on the basis of merit by utilising technology. He called for removal of multi-fold levels of dispute resolution, especially on the basis of maximum utility of a river basin capacity, and use of technology, disregarding all political considerations, which would be a win-win situation for all riparian States.

Mr. Bommai said laws relating to environmental, forest, investment, inter-State river water dispute and CRZ need to be revisited to accelerate the speed of infrastructure development, and development of tourism. The Chief Minister informed the Centre that a common set of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules should be formulated instead of different CRZ rules for different States. “This is necessary for all-round development of India’s coastline.”

Relaxing rules in the Finance Department at the Centre for early clearance of investments is necessary for attracting more investment to infrastructure development. The delay in execution of projects would cost the State heavily, he said.

The Chief Minister asked the Centre to clear the project to upgrade 6,433 km of State highways into national highways, and sought approval for a 453-km high-speed corridor on the Mysuru-Bengaluru-Hyderabad rail line.

He apprised Mr. Gadkari about various airport, tourism and road projects taken by Karnataka and sought the Centre’s support for their early completion.

The Centre has initiated PM Gati Shakti plan, a ₹100 lakh crore national infrastructure master plan to lay the foundation for holistic infrastructure development and give an integrated pathway to the economy.

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