Bengaluru, Dec 6: As the Central Water Commission has agreed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on Mekedatu project, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy chaired an important meeting of former chief ministers, irrigation ministers and legal experts at the Vidhana Soudha here on Thursday.

Former chief ministers Siddaramaiah, Jagadish Shettar, leaders H.K Patil, K.S. Eshwarappa, Basavaraj Bommai, Ministers D.K. Shivakumar and R.V. Deshpande and others participated in the meeting. As Tamil Nadu is preparing to file its objection against the Mekedatu project, the meeting discussed in length on taking up the project at the earliest. As the implementation of the project would not have any impact on Tamil Nadu, the state government has decided to convince its neighbouring state.

It will help TN

Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar said that “the objection from Tamil Nadu over the project is not fair as we are going to implement the project on our land. We have planned to utilize the water which flows into the sea and this will help Tamil Nadu”, he said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting, Shivakumar said that Tamil Nadu has been opposing the Mekedatu project for political reasons. The proposed project would not affect Tamil Nadu. Instead, it would help that state. The state government was ready to convince Tamil Nadu. Let the central government invite the chief ministers of both the states and solve the problem, he said.

Tamil Nadu government has convened a special Assembly Session to discuss the Mekedatu project. Karnataka would not use its water for irrigation purpose. Instead, it would just use it for drinking purpose. Tamil Nadu should not move the court in this issue, Shivakumar appealed.

A primary report of the Rs 5,916 crore project was ready. The government has taken one step forward. Total 4,996 hectare land would come under the project area, of which 380 hectare of land belonged to Revenue department and remaining land belonged to the Forest department. Since the Central Water Commission has given its green signal for the project, Karnataka would not backtrack from the project, he clarified.

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Mumbai : The farmers' long march from Nashik to Mumbai will continue after their leaders' late night parleys with Maharashtra government to address their demands remained inconclusive, the march organisers said Thursday.

Farmers have embarked on a 180-km march from Nashik to Mumbai for the second time in the last 12 months to protest against what they termed as the "betrayal" of peasants by the BJP governments at the state and centre.

The Kisan Long March-2, expected to take over nine days to complete, is being organised by the CPI(M)-backed All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).

The march could not be taken out Wednesday as police stopped many farmers from reaching Nashik, the AIKS claimed. Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan met some AIKS representatives in Nashik Wednesday night.

"We held talks with the minister for over three hours.

The government appeared positive to 80 per cent of our demands. The minister said he would speak to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis first," AIKS president Ashok Dhawale said.

Dhawale said Mahajan informed AIKS representatives that the assurances would be given in writing. "The AIKS has decided to go ahead with the march beginning Thursday morning till the government does so," he added.

Dhawale said police were also present during the meeting with Mahajan. They (police) are not going to stop the farmers now, he added.

Mahajan could not be reached for his comment.

The AIKS has accused the government of not fulfilling assurances given to farmers last year after they marched between the two cities, seeking farm loan waiver, minimum support price for crops, irrigation facilities and provision of pension to agriculturists.

The AIKS also said it is opposed to the multi-billion dollar Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which has seen several farmers along the proposed route approach court against land acquisition.