Large and Medium Irrigation Minister M.B. Patil on Friday said Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan may decide in two days on Karnataka’s request to release two or three tmcft of water from its reservoirs to the parched Bagalkot, Bijapur and Gulbarga districts.
Speaking to The Hindu, the Minister, who met Mr. Chavan two days ago in Mumbai, said that Mr. Chavan would decide the quantum of water to be released from Koyna/Vaarana reservoirs or Kalamana Wadi reservoir to the State depending upon the availability of water there. If water is released from either Koyna or Varaana reservoirs, the Karnataka villages would get water in a couple of days, the minister added.
The Minister said that Karnataka did not want water released from Kalamana Wadi reservoir. He said it takes 30 days to reach Karnataka villages and a lot of water would be wasted due to evaporation. Moreover, if there was delay, Karnataka may get rains by that time. Mr. Patil told the Maharashtra leaders that Krishna and Bhima rivers had dried up and the villagers living on the river beds faced serious shortage of water even for drinking purpose. Mr. Chavan, the Minister said, had told the Karnataka team that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had made a telephonic request for water and he would take a decision on humanitarian grounds.