Water, AIIMS, Bengaluru traffic: Siddaramaiah meets PM Modi, seeks funds for Karnataka

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar mentioned that the PM asked for comprehensive details about the funds required for these developmental projects and assured all possible help.
Water, AIIMS, Bengaluru traffic: Siddaramaiah meets PM Modi, seeks funds for Karnataka
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Ahead of the Union Budget 2024-25, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, June 29. He urged Modi to give special attention to the state and Bengaluru in the upcoming Budget and sought clearance for three major water projects in Karnataka, including the Mekedatu project. 

During the meeting, the Chief Minister also raised the issue of the Upper Bhadra Project, pending with the Union government since 2020. This project aims to irrigate 2.25 lakh hectares in central Karnataka districts. Although Rs 5,300 crore was allocated for this project in the Union Budget for 2023-24, no funds have been released yet. Siddaramaiah urged the Union to release the funds and declare the scheme a national project.

Another significant project needing the Union’s clearance is the Kalasa Banduri nala project, cleared by a tribunal in 2018. The State government has submitted a detailed project report for this project, which aims to provide water to the arid areas of Kittur Karnataka. The State also urged the Union to approve the pending proposal for setting up an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Raichur.

The Chief Minister told the Prime Minister that Bengaluru city is growing fast and also attracts a lot of migration of workforce from all over the country. “The growing city needs investments and the state government has been designing and implementing ambitious plans. We requested the Prime Minister’s kind intervention in supporting the city for its Metro Rail project, the Peripheral Ring Road project and a number of other initiatives,” the Chief Minister said. He sought Rs 30,000 crore for the construction of a 60-km urban tunnel road to ease Bengaluru’s traffic congestion.

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar mentioned that the PM asked for comprehensive details about the funds required for these developmental projects and assured all possible help. They also discussed the possibility of establishing a financial hub in Bengaluru, similar to Gandhinagar’s GIFT City in Gujarat. However, the PM said such a project would be set up in only one place in the country.

Terming the 15th Finance Commission report as “unfair” to Karnataka, Siddaramaiah also spoke of the loss of Rs 1,80,000 crore over five years due to a reduction in the State's share in the devolution of taxes by 1%. He requested the Union to consider granting State-specific funds of Rs 11,495 crore, as recommended by the commission.

The Chief Minister also congratulated PM Modi for becoming the Prime Minister for the third term and expressed good wishes for a successful stint in the service of the great nation. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, Home Minister G Parameshwara, and Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa accompanied Siddaramaiah during the meeting with PM Modi.

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