Notwithstanding the stance adopted by the Goa government with regard to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the orders of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal – Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant has expressed his government’s wish to seek a stay on the apex court’s order – MLA and senior Congress member HK Patil on Monday urged Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa to allocate a sum of Rs. 2,000 crore in the state budget for the project.
In its recent order, the apex court asked the Centre to issue a gazzete notification ratifying the award of the Mahadayi tribunal. While the order, which gives Karnataka sanction to divert the waters of the river to arid regions in North Karnataka, was greeted with glee in the region, neighbouring Goa expressed its displeasure over the same.
Urging the central government to issue the notification at the earliest, Patil said, “The state government must start the groundwork for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project. The state government must exert pressure on the Centre to ensure that no time is lost in the issuance of the notification and work can start at the earliest.”
Patil called on Yediyurappa to lead an all-party delegation from the state to New Delhi to meet the Union minister for water resources.
Meanwhile, the former minister expressed displeasure over the number of files pending for clearance across departments. He said that more than one lakh government files had not been cleared. “This proves that the government is not active, and attests to corruption having spread to all levels of the administration. The common people are struggling to get justice,” Patil alleged.
Pointing out that Karnataka had a reputation for transparency and accountability, Patil said, “Various departments have been feted for transparency. In fact, people could track the movement of files on their fingertips. But they have not been able to do this for the past few months.”
Tourism minister’s suggestion draws flak
The senior Congress member did not pull any punches in criticising tourism minister CT Ravi, who mooted giving permission to operate casinos in Karnataka as a means of generating revenue and employment. “The BJP leaders are very fond of talking about culture in public. But in their implementation of projects they think very differently. Ravi’s statements highlight the gap between their real objectives and what they preach in public,” Patil added.
Making it clear that the Congress was opposed to starting casinos in the state, the former minister said, “Is the minister trying to turn Karnataka into Thailand? The government must drop this idea right here, and the CM must announce that no casino will be opened in the state. The Congress will fight against the implementation of such a proposal.”
MLC Srinivas Mane and AM Hindasgeri were among those in Patil’s company at the media interaction.
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