Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The AP Government has urged Karnataka to speed up and complete work on modernisation of Rajolibanda Diversion (RDS) scheme by June to facilitate release of water for kharif crop in Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah addressed a letter to his Karnataka counterpart B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday requesting him not to enhance the cost of the modernisation work being executed by Karnataka beyond Rs. 72.6 crore. He said Karnataka engineers had finalised this figure after revising the original cost of the work (Rs. 38.16 crore) twice.

The RDS scheme is an inter-state project implemented by AP and Karnataka with the Tungabhadra as source, comprising a 143-km long canal with 42 km of its length lying in Karnataka. The canal will irrigate crop in 15 villages in Karnataka, 75 in Gadwal and Alampur areas of Mahabubnagar district (87,000 acre ayacut) in AP and another four in Kurnool district.

Mr Rosaiah said the decision to modernize the canal at its own cost was taken by the AP Government to get its due share of water by ensuring proper flow in the canal. At the instance of the AP Government, Karnataka finalised tenders to implement four packages of the works covering the 42 km length of the canal in its territory, estimating the cost at Rs. 38.16 crore. But it revised the cost later to Rs 58.9 crore and this amount was fully paid by AP.

Karnataka stand

However, the Karnataka Government informed that the cost had once again been revised to Rs. 72.6 crore and took the stand that unless the balance amount of Rs 13.67 crore was deposited, the work would not be started.

In the letter, Mr. Rosaiah agreed to deposit the balance amount (Rs. 13.67 crore) but requested Mr Yeddyurappa to see that the cost was not revised again. He said now that funds were made available, Karnataka should not delay works any more.