Karnataka seeks national status for two projects | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Karnataka has urged the central government to accord national project status to the Upper Krishna Phase 3 (UKP-3) irrigation scheme and Yettinahole drinking water scheme in the Union Budget 2021-22. The tag will lead to greater central funding — 90 per cent of the project cost.
UKP-3 is estimated to cost Rs 51,148 crore and the other Rs 12,912 crore. “The two projects are highlights of our budget wish list sent to the Centre,” said home minister Basavaraj Bommai, who represented Karnataka at a prebudget meeting.
Last year, water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi secured the national status for the Upper Bhadra project. “We hope the Centre obliges again as the two projects meet the criteria,” he said.
Any water project with a command area of more than 2 lakh hectares is eligible for the tag. UKP-3 will irrigate 9.9 lakh hectares across six northern districts of Bagalkot, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal and Gadag. The Yettinahole project will provide drinking water to five parched southern districts — Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara and Tumakuru — and fill up 527 tanks.
Meanwhile, the state government has sought substantial funding for infrastructure development in Bengaluru, apart from financial assistance for priority sectors such as housing, education and health under the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS). “The city requires huge investments in Metro rail, suburban rail, road transport corporation and others. As the present funding is inadequate, it is requested to allocate sufficient funds for projects related to mobility, solid waste management and other critical infrastructure in the budget,” states the memorandum shared with Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The main request is related to devolution of taxes. The first report of the 15th Finance Commission for 2020-21 had recommended a special grant of Rs 5,495 crore for Karnataka as the state had got a raw deal in the new revenue deficit formula adopted by the commission for tax devolution. But the Centre rejected it. The state has again urged the Centre to accept the commission’s recommendation and announce the special grant in the budget.
“Karnataka got less tax devolution because of an income distance criterion that is based on per capita income. It stands to lose if the formula is adopted again,” said noted economist M Govinda Rao, who was a member of the 14th Finance Commission. The 15th commission’s final report, for 2021-22 to 2025-26, was submitted in November last year and it will be tabled in the Lok Sabha with the budget on Monday.
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Sagar Biswas

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