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Budget: FM Sitharaman announces grant for Karnataka's Upper Bhadra Project; CM Bommai extends gratitude

Bengaluru: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced a grant of Rs 5,300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Project in Karnataka in the Union Budget 2023-24.

"In the drought-prone central region of Karnataka, central assistance of Rs 5,300 crore will be given to Upper Bhadra Project to provide sustainable micro irrigation and filling up of surface tanks for drinking water," the Finance Minister said in her budget speech. The Upper Bhadra Project is a major lift irrigation Scheme under implementation in the central region of Karnataka which envisages lifting upto 17.40 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) of water in first stage from Tunga to Bhadra and lifting 29.90TMC of water in second stage from Bhadra to Tunnel near Ajjampura, in Tungabhadra sub-basin of Krishna basin, the website of the Visvesvaraya Jala Nigam Ltd said.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai thanked the Finance Minister and said in his tweet: "On behalf of all of Karnataka, thanks to Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman for announcing a grant of Rs 5,300 crore for the state's flagship Upper Bhadra project in the Union Budget this year and to the Union Government led by Hon'ble Prime Minister Mr. @narendramodi,"

Talking to the reporters earlier in the day, CM Bommai had earlier said that the Union Budget this year would be "pro-people" which will support the growth of the economy.

"India's economy is expected to grow at 6.8 per cent. It will be a pro-people budget that will support the growth of the economy," he said.
CM Bommai had on October 22, 2022, that the scheme would become the state's first national project.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Jan Sankalp Yatra in November 2022, Bommai had said that Rs 20 crore had been reserved for the maintenance of Vani Vilas Sagar Dam and also initiated steps to strengthen it further.
This reservoir is a tourist place and the government will give permission to create a garden here. Orders will be issued to permanently ensure 5 tmc ft of water under the Upper Bhadra scheme, he had said.

The High Power Committee set up by the Central government had approved the proposal to declare the Upper Bhadra Project as a National Project in February 2022.

"This would enable the State to get a Rs 12,500 crore grant from the Centre to implement the project," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said.

Speaking at the valedictory of Taralabalu Hunnime Mahotsava last year, Bommai said, "Upper Bhadra is the only project which has been made a National Project. The project would bring huge tracts of land in Central Karnataka under irrigation. It would also raise the underground water table."
Former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa laid the foundation stone for the Upper Bhadra project in 2008.

"We have undertaken works to fill the irrigation tanks in the region. Earlier the State government had asked the farmers to pay the power bill and now bowing to Sirigere Seer's request the order has been changed with the government bearing the electricity cost too," Bommai had said.
"All the obstacles for implementing the Upper Bhadra project have been cleared and water is flowing from the Ajjampur tunnel to VV Sagar," Bommai added.

Notably, this has been the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term, as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.
The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with the President's address, followed by the tabling of the Economic Survey for 2022-23.
The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10. (ANI)

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