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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

M.B. Patil pans Kerala for its offer to IT firms

The water crisis in Bengaluru has triggered a row between Karnataka and Kerala.

Following Kerala Industries Minister P. Rajeeve’s overtures to  Information Technology (IT) firms in the city to relocate to his State in the backdrop of the water crisis, M.B. Patil, Minister for Commerce and Industries, and Infrastructure Development, hit out at the Kerala government saying, “attempts to take undue advantage of the water scarcity situation is detrimental to the federal structure of the country.”

“Many parts of India, including Kerala have been reeling under water scarcity due to drought and severe summer. In such a situation, the offer extended by the Kerala Industries Minister for the Bengaluru-based companies to shift their workspaces to that State does not depict the healthy competitive spirit,” Mr. Patil said.

Mr. Rajeeve had recently said that following reports of a severe water crisis in Bengaluru, the government of Kerala had written to IT firms in the city offering them all facilities and water. He had also said that Kerala had 44 rivers and water was not a problem.

“Though there has been water shortage, it is not precarious in regions where IT companies are located in Bengaluru. Moreover, the Minister should also remember that the companies here have provided jobs to thousands of people hailing from his native Kerala. As a State, Kerala has all the liberty to make efforts to attract investments. However, it should not resort to petty politics,” Mr. Patil said.

He also emphasised that the State government had been working on facilitating a dedicated system to provide river-sourced water from nearby places for industrial areas and had held several meetings about facilitating Cauvery water for industrial areas in Bengaluru.

This is not the first time that Karnataka’s neighbours have made such overtures to the IT industry in Bengaluru to relocate to their States.

Following a start-up entrepreneur complaining of poor infrastructure in the city in 2022, then Telangana IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan waded into the issue and tried to woo industries to their States, drawing a sharp response from the Karnataka government.

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