A whopping 120,000 acres would be acquired for increasing the height of Almatti dam from 519 metres to 524 metres under the Upper Krishna Project (UKP-III) as per the decision of Krishna River Water Dispute Tribunal.
Karnataka government would face a major challenge in the form of relief and rehabilitation in the 23 villages that would be submerged in the wake of impounding water up to 524 metres in the Alamatti reservoir in Bagalkot district.
More than 70,000 acres of fertile land in Bagalkot and Bijapur districts would be lost in the backwaters of the reservoir. The compensation would be around Rs 8-10 lakh per acre in Bagalkot district. Earlier, the estimated cost of the project was Rs 17,100 crore for the UKP-III. Water Resources Minister M B Patil told reporters here today the land acquisition process would commence from January.
As per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013, of the Centre, the government would pay compensation on the basis of consent to farmers whose lose land to the project.
Land would not be acquired by force. A high-level committee headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would take a fair decision and provide compensation to farmers who would lose their lands, he said.
Patil said about 10,000 acres would be required for resettlement and rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, the Minister said 500 Assistant Engineers and Junior Engineers are planned to be appointed soon and a proposal was submitted to the Finance Department for clearance. The Chief Minister, who heads the Finance Department, agreed in principle to sanction the posts.
Around 1,000 engineers would be recruited on contract basis in the department's three corporations - Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited, Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited and Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam.
The recruitment process would be completed in three months.