‘44 Maharashtra villages on the State border have a significant Kannadiga population and are drought-prone’

Minister for Medium and Major Irrigation M.B. Patil said that the State government was contemplating a joint project with the Maharashtra government for providing irrigation facilities to villages of Maharashtra bordering Karnataka.

Speaking after inaugurating a convention of farmers in Guddapur of Sangli district, Maharashtra, on Sunday, he said that 44 of Maharashtra’s villages that are close to Karnataka have a significant Kannadiga population. These villages are also drought-prone, and the condition of its inhabitants was “pathetic.”

The government plans to extend the irrigation facilities enjoyed by villages in Karnataka to those in Maharashtra. “The Karnataka government has prepared an irrigation project for the Tikota, Bijaragi and Babanagar villages in Karnataka. The same project will be extended to villages in Maharashtra,” he said. A meeting of high-level officials from both States would be convened soon, he added.

Both States should share the cost of the project, based on the quantum of water to be shared. The project would help parched villages of both States, he felt. Mr. Patil claimed that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had already approved the project.

He added that Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised to help Karnataka’s water problems. Such generosity will strengthen the bond between both States, he said. In his address, district in-charge Minister of Sangli Patangrao Kadam stated that the most of the villages in the district bordering Karnataka were “neglected.” These villages do not have any irrigation facilities, and the government is taking steps to resolve this situation. He thanked the Karnataka government for its aid.

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