Kalasa-Banduri project: CWC clearance a big step, but no cakewalk yet

Experts point out that there are significant riders that have come along with the clearance.

Updated - December 29, 2022 11:38 pm IST

Published - December 29, 2022 09:57 pm IST - HUBBALLI

Leaders and members of the Bharatiya Janata Party organising ‘vijayaotsav’ (jubilation) in Hubballi on Thursday over the CWC giving clearance to DPR of Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

Leaders and members of the Bharatiya Janata Party organising ‘vijayaotsav’ (jubilation) in Hubballi on Thursday over the CWC giving clearance to DPR of Kalasa-Banduri Nala project. | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

Amid the celebration over the Central Water Commission (CWC) clearing the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the much-awaited Kalasa and Banduri schemes, experts point out that there are significant riders that have come along with the clearance.

These riders are embedded in the award passed by the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) headed by Justice J.M. Panchal on August 14, 2018, and are mentioned in the clearance given by the CWC on Thursday.

According to Supreme Court advocate Mohan Kataraki, “Grant of clearance by the CWC is a significant step. Karnataka has got a gate pass to obtain the applicable statutory clearances and implement the project in due course of time”.

However, it has to be noted that allocations are made subject to the fresh preparation of Detailed Project Reports (to be prepared as directed by the Tribunal) and on obtaining the applicable clearances from the Union government under the Forest Conservation Act of 1981, Environment Protection Act of 1985 and others. That means still there is lot of work to get done.

In the conclusion mentioned in the clearance, CWC has clearly mentioned that the project authority shall get all the mandatory approval from other concerned technical agencies as may be required in terms of MWDT Award. It also mentions that project authority shall obtain all mandatory/statutory clearances as required by law mentioned in the MWDT award. Then there are pending cases before the Supreme Court, as mentioned by the CWC.

CWC has clearly mentioned in the clearance, “In this regard, this acceptance from hydrology and Inter State aspects as per guidelines of CWC shall be subject to the decision in the proceedings before the before the Supreme Court in three SLPs (32517/2018of Maharashtra, 33018/2018 of Karnataka and 19312/2019 of Goa) against the Report Cum Final Decision dated 14th August 2018 (MWDT award)”.

Viresh Sobaradmath, who led the longest agitation over Mahadayi (2,721 days as on date) at Naragund, said that the priority should be now to get the clearances and get the work done at the earliest.

He said that the revised DPR should have got the clearance much earlier and it was stalled for political reasons. “There is no contribution of Prime Minister, Union Ministers Amit Shah or Pralhad Joshi or anyone else in the issue. In the normal administrative process, they should have cleared it long back, but was stalled for political reasons,” he alleged.

Focus on completion

All-India Krishik Samaj leader Sidagouda Modagi also advised the government against using it for electoral gains. “The double engine government should take it up on priority and complete the project on time,’‘ he said.

State convenor of Farmers’ Wing of Aam Admi Party, Vikas Soppin, who was involved in the Kalasa Banduri agitation, said that the riders had raised suspicion among the farmers about the initiation of the project. To clear the air, the government should immediately float tenders for the project and announce date of initiation of the works, he said.

(With inputs from Rishikesh Bahadur Desai)

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.