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Why floods occur in rivers in north Karnataka districts

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A file photo of crops affected due to floods in Kasinkunte village of Muddebihal taluk in Bijapur district.
A file photo of crops affected due to floods in Kasinkunte village of Muddebihal taluk in Bijapur district.

Pradeepkumar Kadkol

Release of water from dams in Maharashtra cited as main reason

‘Rivers go dry in June-July while sudden floods occur in August’

‘Rainwater flowing down Sahyadri hills also contribute to flooding’

Bijapur: Every year hundreds of families become homeless and crops worth crores of rupees are destroyed in the floods that occur due to the release of water from the dams of Maharashtra.

According to the documents provided by Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal Advisory Committee member Panchappa Kalburgi, Maharashtra has taken up construction of 105 medium and large reservoirs in the Krishna Basin, and 85 per cent of these projects have been completed. The Bachawat Tribunal of 1969 had instructed Maharashtra to utilise only 560 tmcft of the river waters. However, it had instructed Karnataka to utilise 700 tmcft and Andhra Pradesh 800 tmcft water.

Mr. Kalburgi told The Hindu that apart from utilising 560 tmcft of water recommended by the tribunal, Maharashtra has been storing 400 tmcft additional water in its reservoirs work on which have been completed. As a result, the Krishna and the Bhima in the State go dry in June-July and sudden floods occur in the first or second week of August due to Maharashtra releasing water from its dams. Also, rainwater flowing down the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats, which receive an average 375 mm to 1,349 mm of rain every year, contributes to flooding.

Reservoirs

He said that reservoirs have been built across the Krishna and its tributaries in Maharashtra at Balakwadi, Dhom, Nagewadi, Mahu, Kudal, Kaner, Uramodi, Tarali, Uttarmand, Kodaki, Koyna, Kera project site, Morana, Guredhar, Wang, Aivatima, Soli, Varna, Kadavi, Kasari, Kumbi, Damani, Radhanagari, Tusasi, Kallammvadi, Patgoan, Hiranyakeshi, Chikotra, Chitri, Patakwati, Jabare, Jangamhatti, Nehar, Uralwadi, Siddewari and Basappawadi.

Reservoirs in the Bhima Basin have been built at Chilewadi, Pimpalgoan Jogi, Pushpawati, Manikdoh, Yadgoan, Vadaj, Dinche, Ghod, Visapur, Kalodi, Bouskman, Bamasked, Anda Talav, Vadivale, Shirvacha, Aimal, Lonawala, Jadhav Wadi, Pavana, Mulashi, Kasar Sahi, Timghar, Parasgoan, Kadakvasala, Gunjwani, Pansheth, Ujjani, Chirmodi, Bhatgoan, Niradevphal, Veer, Andali, Muswad, Ranand, Katghal, Padvalkarwadi, Chikalagi, Doddnala, Sankh, Bhivaragi, Kada, Kambli, Mahakari, Sena Nigad, Rooti, Mangi Talav, Bhanganga and Sakath in that State, he added.

Mr. Kalburgi said that as far as the regenerated 70 tmcft of water concerned, the tribunal has instructed Maharashtra to utilise 25 tmcft, Karnataka 34 tmcft and Andhara Pradesh 11 tmcft. The utilisation of water by Maharashtra should be 585 tmcft. However, Maharashtra is storing 185 tmcft more water than prescribed by the tribunal under the Krishna A scheme. Apart from this, it has constructed barrages to store 1,100 tmcft of water for future use.

Also, Karnataka’s advocate at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal B.S. Patil, on June 7, 2007, wrote to advocate representing Maharashtra at the tribunal D.N. Narglokar raising objections over its projects to utilise 1,100 tmcft of water. But, the Maharashtra Government has not taken any steps in this regard, he alleged.

Karnataka projects

At the same time, Karnataka has failed to utilise 700 tmcft of water allocated to it by the tribunal. Except the Alamatti and the Narayanpur dams, it has no other projects to utilise the river water.

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