Reiterating his government’s commitment to developing Kalyana Karnataka region, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that both the Union and the State governments are generously releasing funds for the development of the region.
He also said that his government has resolved all technical problems and is persuading the Supreme Court to release the entire District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for taking up development activities in Ballari.
“The DMF funds, around ₹24,000 crore, are stuck in the Supreme Court as we did not have a proper plan to utilise them. Due to lack of sincerity in arguments, the State suffered a setback in the Supreme Court. However, our government drew up a plan and convinced the court to release the funds. Today, the funds have been partially released and we could come up with mega projects. A sum of ₹5,500 crore are reserved for Ballari and of this, around ₹2,000 crore have been approved for utilisation,” Mr. Bommai said.
He was addressing a public meeting organised for inaugurating completed projects for public use and performing Bhumi Puja and laying foundation stone for new ones in Ballari.
On his promise to provide Kalyana Karnataka Region Development Board (KKRDB) with ₹5,000 crore in the next budget, Mr. Bommai said that tenders for ₹3,000 crore allocated to the body in the current financial year will be called for by January-end.
“In the initial years, ₹1,000 crore were allocated to the KKRDB and only half of the amount was released for utilisation. Later, the allocation was increased to ₹1,500 crore. Our government has increased the allocation to ₹3,000 crore. As, I have already promised, I will allocate ₹5,000 crore in the next budget,” Mr. Bommai said.
The Chief Minister also promised to establish an engineering division for KKRDB to utilise the funds in a stipulated time.
“Mere allocation of funds is not sufficient. We need to have a proper mechanism to implement projects with the funds. It requires an engineering division. Within four-five days, after returning to Bengaluru, I will give an engineering circle to Ballari… I never speak without any basis. We, the politicians, are under the illusion that people will believe whatever we say. People are intelligent and one cannot mislead them. They will see your work before trusting you,” he said.
Terming the increase in reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and redistributing reservation within Other Backward Classes as a measure of social justice, Mr. Bommai said that social justice cannot be realised with talks and speeches.
“Those who talked volumes about social justice hardly did anything to achieve it. Social justice is an objective that needs to be achieved collectively. We increased reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and redistributed reservation among the Other Backward Classes to realise this objective. We are introducing many welfare programmes for empowering the weaker sections of society. We are upgrading Banjara hamlets into revenue villages and, the process of issuing land rights certificates is already under way,” he said.
He also went on to list the funds released by the Union and State governments, development projects and welfare programmes taken up for the development of Karnataka in general and Kalyana Karnataka and Ballari in particular.
“Nearly 18 lakh houses have been sanctioned by the Union government under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. The implementation of this Yojna remained stopped for many years as there were some technical issues in the software. We have fixed it and got 18 lakh houses sanctioned under the scheme,” he said.
At the end, Mr. Bommai also commended Ballari In-charge Minister B. Sriramulu, Member of Legislative Assembly G. Somashekhar Reddy and the district administration for taking up many development projects and promised that he will stand with the people of Ballari for the development of their district.