Will discuss ways to reduce flood damage in Krishna basin
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is scheduled to meet Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil in Bengaluru on Saturday, to discuss ways to reduce flood damage in the Krishna basin villages.
To prepare for this, a meeting of senior officers was held in Bengaluru on Friday.
Rakesh Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Irrigation, and others discussed various issues faced by the Krishna basin districts like Belagavi, Bagalkot, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, and Bidar.
Mr. Singh spoke to M.G. Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner, Belagavi, and asked him to be ready to take over the management of reservoirs in case of floods. It is believed that Maharashtra releasing water suddenly and releasing more water than expected has led to floods in the Krishna and its tributaries in north Karnataka.
Saturday’s meeting is expected to address several of these issues.
One of the solutions that is likely to come up is the long pending `water for water’ agreement expected to be signed between Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Maharashtra has been demanding that Karnataka allot 4 tmcft of water in exchange for water to be released into the Krishna in the summer months. All these years, Karnataka has been paying for the water released from Maharahstra.
Maharashtra has sought laying of a 20-km pipleline to Jat from the Tubachi-Babaleshwar lift irrigation scheme in Vijayapura district.
Karnataka engineers had told Ramesh Jarkiholi, former Irrigation Minister, to insist on a monthly quota and basin-wise allocation of the 4 tmcft of water.
They had also warned against Maharashtra counting monsoon releases as part of the agreed quantum of water.
“We have been insisting on differentiating voluntary release of water from reservoirs and automatic release due to natural causes or to avoid floods,” said a senior engineer from the Irrigation Department.
He said Mr. Yediyurappa is likely to stick to this point in Saturday’s meeting.
Belagavi-based Central committee for Kannada organisations has submitted a memorandum to the CM asking him to safeguard the interest of the state at all costs.
Mr. Patil left for Bengaluru from his hometown of Kolhapur on Friday evening. He was earlier scheduled to board a flight from Belagavi. Karnataka irrigation officers were waiting for him in Sambra airport. The Minister’s plans were changed at the last minute, an officer said.
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