Friday, May 4, 2012

Special status likely for Hyderabad-Karnataka region

The five-decade long struggle of over one crore people in the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region, including Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal districts, for special status is likely to end happily as union home minister P Chidambaram assured that a bill to this effect would be introduced in the next parliament session.

The assurance came when an all-party delegation led by chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda met Chidambaram in New Delhi on Thursday. “The draft bill has already been sent to the prime minister’s office (PMO). The union cabinet will approve the bill after its evaluation by the PMO. Then it will be tabled in parliament for approval,” Chidambaram said.

The special status, once conferred through amendment to Article 371 of the constitution, will enable the state to provide special reservation for people from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in jobs and higher education.

The state delegation also stressed the need for immediate release of at least 2TMC of water from the Koyna dam in Maharashtra to provide relief to people in northern Karnataka, which is reeling under a severe drought.
Water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai said Gowda spoke to his Maharashtra counterpart Prithviraj Chavan. On Wednesday, union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar too had asked Chavan to consider Karnataka’s request. Bommai expressed confidence that Maharashtra would release the water in two days.