‘Congress will fight for implementation of project for the benefit of people and farmers’
After activist Medha Patkar described the proposal to build a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu as a “disastrous” project that will wreak havoc on the Cauvery, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar said the Congress will fight for implementation of the project for the benefit of the people and farmers and not for his personal interest.
Mr. Shivakumar said the Bommai Government would answer all questions raised by Ms. Patkar.“I have respect for her. She has her own thinking and philosophy. The government will respond to her. Why should I reply to her? We respect the sentiments of the people,” Mr. Shivakumar said.
Referring to the loss of properties to make way for the proposed Mekedatu project in his Kanakapura constituency, Mr. Shivakumar said compensation to farmers had been increased four times by enacting a law during the Congress regime in 2013. For removing apprehensions among the farmers and environment, the Centre has included clauses related to environmental clearances to the project, the Congress leader said.
He the final notification on the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal Award was issued in 2013 during the Congress regime in the State. The Congress Government prepared the DPR and the project received momentum after he became the Water Resources Minister in the coalition Government. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who handled the water resources portfolio, knew details about the project. The Congress would commence its protest if the BJP Government continued to neglect the project, Mr. Shviakumar warned.
Asked about former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s remark that workers from Tamil Nadu tied Congress flags to various poles during the padayatra, the KPCC chief said there was nothing wrong in doing such work. The State had provided education and jobs to the people of Tamil Nadu in Bengaluru.
The padayatra has been temporarily suspended in view of the public health and safety of the people, Mr. Shivakumar said.
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