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Belagavi / Hubballi: Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport and highways, on Monday expressed regret for failing to resolve the Mahadayi river water dispute between Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.
The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal had sanctioned 13 TMC feet water to Karnataka, 24 to Goa and 1.13 TMC feet for Maharashtra. However, the order has not been implemented as the matter is now in court because the neighbouring states have objected to the order.
Gadkari expressed regret after laying the foundation for five national highway projects in Belagavi that will cover 238 km and will be laid with an investment of Rs 3,972 crore.
‘Resolved 13 disputes’
Recalling his stint as water resources minister, he said he had managed to amicably solve 13 inter-state disputes out of 20. “When I was the water resources minister, there were about 20 inter-state disputes, of which I resolved 13,” he said.
On Almatti Dam, another trigger for disputes between Karnataka and Maharashtra, Gadkari said every time Kolhapur reels under floods, residents and farmers blame the dam. This issue can be resolved by creating water grids like developing lakes, tanks, widening the rivers and channels.
He stressed that if these measures are taken, then there would be no need for increasing the height of the dam.
Gadkari said the new highways from Karnataka to Maharashtra and Goa will ease traffic jams and fuel consumption and improve port connectivity.
He said the roads will help bring in more investments to the region, providing impetus to agriculture, industry, tourism and help in generating employment.
Gadkari said the government has sanctioned a ring-road project for Belagavi and work will start soon on that.
‘Onus on state govt to get clearance for road projects’
Nitin Gadkari has promised developing highways in Karnataka on the lines of America by 2024-end. However, the onus is on the state government to expedite land acquisition and forest clearances for the ongoing projects.
Laying the foundation for the widening of Hubballi-Dharwad bypass into a six-lane stretch and many more works in Hubballi on Monday, Gadkari said for early completion of the already sanctioned projects, the state should regularly hold meetings with the agencies concerned to clear technical hurdles, mainly land acquisition, forest, and environmental issues.
“A new highway has been planned between Solapur and Kurnool which would be executed in three phases at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. The 337km stretch connects Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It could prove an engine of growth in the region,” he said.
The highway will pass through Yadgir, Kalaburagi, and Raichur districts covering 117km, and Rs 6,000 crore will be spent on works which would be completed by 2025, he said, adding his ministry has planned another 700km long Pune-Bengaluru highway, which passes through Kalaburagi region. This is expected to shorten the distance to Bengaluru by 100km.
Hailing attempts of his cabinet colleague Pralhad Joshi on widening of Hubballi-Dharwad bypass, Gadkari said: “The state government’s share on building a flyover arm connecting the junction at Rani Chennamma Circle should be arranged.”
The minister also gave an approval for the construction of 35 road under- and road-over bridges in the region as requested by Joshi.
CM Basavaraj Bommai, Union minister Pralhad Joshi, former CM Jagadish Shettar, Dharwad district minister Halappa Achar, ministers, MLAs, MPs and others were present.



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