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KTKA to set up cabinet sub-panel to examine inter-state water

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

The Karnataka cabinet on Monday decided to constitute a cabinet sub-committee to look into inter-state water disputes concerning Krishna, Mahadayi and Cauvery rivers, and to work towards securing states rights.

"A four member cabinet sub-committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister on Cauvery, Krishna, Mahadayi river related inter-state water issues, implementation of programmes relating to them and to expedite things," Minister J C Madhuswamy told reporters after the cabinet meeting here.

Other than the Chief Minister, the sub-committee will include ministers- Basavaraj Bommai, Govind Karjol and R Ashoka.

According to Bommai, in the last three-four years, several issues concerning Krishna, Mahadayi and Cauvery (in the form of special leave petition) are pending before the Supreme Court.

The then government should have worked proactively relating to these cases, but that that did not happen, so the BJP government has decided to look into them proactively, he said.

This sub-committee is limited to inter-state disputes concerning these rivers, he clarified, adding that it will work towards securing states rights in these disputes, and it is not for implementation of any river projects.

The cabinet ministers, who met for the first time after their two day visit to the flood ravaged parts of the state, has decided to look into possibilities of giving relief or announcing a package to those affected by slightly going beyond the NDRF norms.

Madhuswamy said several places have been destroyed by landslides besides plantation crops, houses and schools washed away and power disconnected.

"During our visit we have asked authorities to take up the work on priority basis and help the needy. Certain technical difficulties that existed we have discussed and tried to simplify them.

Like- Rs 10,000 (immediate relief) has reached the account of about 1.36 lakh families that has been affected, there was a small error as it was given to only those who were in relief camps. After our visit we have ensured that all those who were displaced get it," he said.

A sum of Rs five lakh is being given for those whose houses have been completely damaged for construction purpose, Madhuswamy said.

In landslip areas those who have been affected may not get adequate relief under the norms, so the state government has decided to recommend to the centre for measures to help coffee, spices and other plantation growers.

"Coffee and spices are not covered under insurance schemes, so we have decided to request the centre to bring them under insurance.

We may also lead a delegation to Prime Minister with a request to bring these crops, also sugarcane, that is not covered under insurance to consider them under some scheme," he added.

An inter-ministerial central team is currently on a four-day visit to Karnataka beginning from Saturday to assess the damage caused by the recent floods, following which they will recommend interim relief.

According to initial estimates, damage caused by floods is said to be more than Rs 30,000 crore.

The cabinet has also decided to increase states share of contribution under New Pension Scheme to government employees to 14 per cent in line with the central government, putting a burden of over Rs 300 crore on the exchequer.

"Under New Pension Scheme 10 per cent was employees share and 10 per cent was governments share.

Meanwhile, central government increased its share to 14 per cent to its employees, in the same way, we also have increased it to 14 per cent for our employees effective from April 1, 2019,"

Madhuswamy said.

The cabinet has also decided to recommend to the governor for release of prisoners who were either under life sentence or has spent more than 10 years in jail, on grounds of good conduct based on recommendation of the prisons department.

Among them 139 are men and one is woman.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 26 2019. 21:15 IST