It is about a week since the State government requested Maharashtra government to release 4 tmcft water from its reservoirs into the Krishna and the Bhima river course to mitigate acute water shortage in several villages in boundary areas of Northern Karnataka in the Krishna basin, but Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is yet to respond to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s letter.
With the prevailing drought situation deteriorating and drinking water sources drying up in more villages with every passing day, Additional Chief Secretary Mahendra Jain, who was here on Wednesday, said that he would speak to Secretary of the Maharashtra Chief Minister seeking early release of water.
“The water situation in these areas is grim and we are trying to get water from Maharashtra,” he said and added that the State government had requested 4 tmcft of water. Minister for Water Resources M.B. Patil and MPs from Belagavi and other districts of Northern Karnataka had requested Maharashtra government to release water at the earliest.
Mr. Jain, who is also Secretary in-charge of Belagavi, reviewed the drought condition and ongoing mitigation measures. He was accompanies by Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Gautam Bagadi and heads of various departments.
Mr. Jain said that due to deficient rainfall during the last monsoon, water levels in all the reservoirs in the State had plummeted. Water sources during the next two months of April and May or until the monsoon set in, need to be managed efficiently to minimise the impact of drought and scarcity conditions.
Already, 58 villages in Belagavi district were facing severe drinking water shortage. The district administration had arranged for tankers to supply drinking water to the residents of these villages falling in Chikkodi, Gokak, Hukkeri, Raibag and Ramdurg taluks. Goshalas were being opened to provide fodder for cattle.
Having reviewed the progress in the implementation of various schemes, he appreciated the district administration for its notable achievements in implementing priority sector programmes and schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, housing schemes and construction of individual household toilets.