Recently, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met the agitating villagers of Jat taluka near the interstate border. He promised full support to the villagers to overcome the problems of water scarcity. A week after Bommai’s assurance, now Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has made a big announcement. Shinde told a delegation of elected representatives that Rs 2,000 crore would be provided for the expansion of the Mhaisala irrigation project. This step of Shinde is being seen in the direction of pacifying the villagers.
first understand the whole controversy
The Karnataka CM had claimed that some gram panchayats in Jat taluka of Maharashtra’s Sangli district had earlier passed a resolution demanding merger with Karnataka. Bommai said that these resolutions were passed when these villages were facing severe water crisis. Bommai said that the Karnataka government has made plans to help them by providing water. His government is seriously considering the proposal of Jat villages.
Feeling pressure after Bommai’s assurance, Shinde has announced a plan of 2000 crores. Shinde held a meeting with elected representatives of Sangli and cabinet members from western Maharashtra. Maharashtra CM said, “I have asked the officials of the water resources department to complete the work on a war footing. Sufficient funds will be made available for water schemes in 42 villages of Jat tehsil. Along with electricity, health and education facilities will also be provided.” Efforts will be made to provide facilities. We will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure for the entire region.” However, during this he did not comment on the statement of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Despite the Chief Minister’s promises, Jat MLA Vikram Sawant said the hour-long meeting turned out to be disappointing as there was no time-bound plan to complete the Mhaisala irrigation project. We have been waiting for water for the last 41 years. After today’s meeting, it seems that it will take at least seven to eight years to provide water. We suggest that it be completed in a few years. Meanwhile, the government should negotiate with Karnataka to make available the remaining water from the Tubachi Babaleshwar project.
Sawant said, “Shinde did not make any specific commitment with regard to budgetary support for the Mhaisala project. In the meeting, Shinde assured that his government would provide Rs 200 crore immediately, while more during the winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur.” Provisions will be made. We are keen on commitments, not assurances. We have been suffering for centuries. We were expecting that 2.26 lakh hectares of land would be brought under irrigation; so far only 22,500 hectares are irrigated.” Shinde asked the officers to coordinate so that all the pending water supply schemes are completed in a time bound manner.
Belagavi visit of Maharashtra ministers is not good: Bommai
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that it is not right for two ministers from Maharashtra to visit Belagavi. Two Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil, Shambhuraj Desai and their legal team have been appointed to deal with the boundary issue and have planned to visit Belagavi, which is at the center of the dispute.
The two are reported to be likely to meet leaders of the Maharashtra Integration Committee (MES), which is spearheading the movement for Belagavi’s merger with Maharashtra. This visit of the ministers is taking place at a time when the Supreme Court has recently heard the Maharashtra government’s petition regarding Belagavi.
Bommai told reporters in Belagavi, “Our chief secretary has already sent the letter to the chief secretary of Maharashtra through fax. In such a situation, it is not right for them to come here, so they should not come here. We have already told them. The Karnataka government will continue the steps taken in the past.”
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