Udayavni Special

Forest clearance for Kalasa-Banduri Project: Centre asks K’taka to submit fresh proposal

Team Udayavani, Jul 11, 2020, 8:36 AM IST

Bengaluru: The Centre has asked the Karnataka government to submit a fresh proposal seeking forest clearance for the Kalasa-Banduri Project in the Mahadayi river basin, according to the Union Environment Ministry.

The project aims to bring water to the drought-prone regions of Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag districts by diverting water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka. But it was stuck for nearly two decades due to dispute between Karnataka and Goa on sharing of Mahadayi river water.

However, in February this year, the dispute was resolved after the central government notified the final award of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal that allocated 13.42 thousand million cubic feet of water to Karnataka, while 24 tmcft to Goa and 1.33 tmcft to Maharashtra.

Last year, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had also said Karnataka can start work on the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project after gazette notification of the Tribunal and necessary forest and wildlife permissions.

In this backdrop, the ministry has written to the Karnataka government informing that the earlier proposals were returned to the state government in 2003 pending resolution of dispute between Karnataka and Goa.

“Presently, there is no proposal pertaining to Kalasa-Banduri project pending for consideration in the ministry,” Deputy Inspector General of Forests Brijendra Swaroop said in the letter, a copy of which is with PTI.

“In view of the above, I am directed to request the state government of Karnataka to submit the proposal de novo (afresh), through online Parivesh portal, in the light of provisions contained in the Forest (Conservation) Second Amendment Rules, 2014, and changes in field conditions due to lapse of time period of nearly two decades,” he added.

The state government in its earlier proposal had sought clearance for diversion of 258 hectare of forest land for construction of Kalasa Nala dam near Kankumbi village and diversion of 243 hectare of forest land for construction of Bandur Nala dam near Nerse village in Belagavi district.

Currently, only a section of the project is nearing completion, with work on both reservoirs yet to be taken up owing to forest clearance.

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