Bengaluru, Feb 1 (IANS): Welcoming Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement of a grant of Rs 5,300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Project in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said it will irrigate over 1 lakh hectares of land in the drought-hit and dry stretches in the central region of the poll-bound state.
The Finance Minister in the Union Budget presented earlier on Wednesday declared the Upper Bhadra Scheme a national project.
Bommai said: "The Upper Bhadra Project has been one of the important irrigation projects of the state and it will irrigate over one lakh hectares of land in drought-hit and dry land in central Karnataka."
"Besides, it is also a drinking water project that will benefit lakhs of villages. The state had forwarded a proposal to the Union government to declare this project as a national project and I am happy that a grant of Rs 5,300 crore has been announced. This is the first national project among the several irrigation projects of the state," Bommai said.
The Centre has also approved the detailed project report of the Kalasa Banduri Project of utilising water from the Mahadayi river.
The Kalasa Banduri Project is expected to end drinking water woes in the northern Karnataka region, but successive governments have kept the project on the backburner.
According to political analysts, with the announcement on the Upper Bhadra Project, the ruling BJP will manage to impress the voters in both north and central Karnataka.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured the implementation of the project during his recent visit to Belagavi.
The announcement assumes significance as elections are scheduled to be held in two months in Karnataka.
The regions are considered as the bastions of the BJP.