Taking a jibe at Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said it is so unfortunate that he has been compelled to dodge the ball and lie to save his government (Centre) from embarrassment. "It is sad to see BJP leaders quenching their thirst to lie by denying water to the people," he said.

Siddaramaiah stated that he had raised a series of questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the injustices done by the Union Government towards Karnataka.

"With respect to inter-state river water issues, we had raised five questions and the Minister of Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has responded to just two of our questions and the rest of his explanations are unrelated to our question series. Unfortunately, even for the questions he has answered, it is either false or inappropriate to the specifics of our question," he stated.

K Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Chief MinisterIANS

He further asked, "With regards to the Mekedatu project the Union minister has cited that the issue was included as an agenda item - Is the duty of the Prime Minister or the Jal Shakthi Minister to just include the topic as an agenda item or resolve the crisis?

Why has the Prime Minister failed to intervene according to the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, which seeks his intervention during distress situations?, he questioned.

"As regards the Kalasa-Banduri Project, the requisite clearances/approvals for the proposals pertaining to Forest clearance, exemption from EIA Notification, 2006, Wildlife/Tiger Corridor clearance for the Kalasa Scheme from National Board of Wild Life (NBWL), and declaration of the Eco-Sensitive Zone of the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary are pending with the Government of India," Siddaramaiah claimed.

Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah
Chief Minister of Karnataka SiddaramaiahIANS

"The Upper Bhadra Project is a major lift irrigation scheme under implementation in the central region of Karnataka State, envisaging the utilisation of 29.90 TMC of water to irrigate an extent of 2,25,515 Hectares by Micro irrigation. The proposal for inclusion of the Upper Bhadra Project as a National Project is still under consideration with the Government of India. Even though all requisite clearances/approvals of competent authorities are accorded, the release of Rs 5,300 crore Central assistance to the project, as announced in the 2023-24 Union Budget Speech, is still pending," Siddaramaiah charged.

The CM stated, "Out of the allocated 173 TMC of water to Karnataka State under the KWDT-II Award, 130 TMC is the share for the Upper Krishna Project Stage-III. Its utilisation involves raising the storage at Almatti Reservoir from RL 519.60 M to RL 524.256 M and contemplates irrigation for 5.94 Lakh hectares in the drought-prone Northern Karnataka. More than a decade has elapsed after the pronouncement of the KWDT-II Award, and the Gazette Notification of the Award is yet to be notified by the Government of India."

This is despite the State of Karnataka urging the Union Government to move the Supreme Court by filing an appropriate application for modifying the order dated September 16, 2011 and taking consequential steps for the Gazette Notification of the KWDT-II Award, he maintained.

(With inputs from IANS)