Other States

Maharashtra demands 3 tmcft water in return for supply to Karnataka

State facing unprecedented drought; dams left with only 16% water stocks

Facing an unprecedented drought situation, the Maharashtra government has demanded 3 tmcft of water from Karnataka.

The demand has been formally stated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the two States are likely to sign soon assuring exchange of as much as 5 tmcft of water across both sides of the border. Maharastra’s demand was communicated to Karnataka last week by outgoing Chief Secretary UPS Madan, officials said. “I have communicated to my counterpart in Karnataka that we would be providing water for drinking purposes in exchange for the water they may have to offer us in wake of the drought situation we are facing,” Mr. Madan told The Hindu.

151 taluks

Maharashtra is currently going through an unprecedented drought like situation after declaring 151 taluks as drought-affected. The State is getting a Central assistance of ₹4,714 crore for the drought-affected areas but the dams in the State have only 16% of water left. It may dip into its emergency reserves now, officials have said.

“Water availability is a concern for us. We are able to provide fodder and other assistance. The government is trying its best to increase the water supply to remote areas,” said Mr. Madan, now an advisor to the Chief Minister. The three tmcft of water will be distributed in the Maharashtra villages bordering Karnataka, where the State is unable to supply tankers. Maharashtra in turn will supply two tmcft of water from the Koyna or the Warna into the Krishna and two tmcft of water from Ujjani dam into the Bhima to help the dry districts of north Karnataka.

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in principle agreed to Karnataka’s demand for water to be released from State reservoirs for drinking in Belagavi district based on the condition that Karnataka should also release water from its reservoirs to drought-hit districts in that State.

Personal request

A BJP delegation from the State met Mr. Fadnavis, who had also received a personal request from Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar for release of water for drinking in Belagavi, Bagalkot, and Vijayapura districts on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border.

“I told the delegation that we will give water based on availability, but at the same time they should enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with us to provide water to parts of our State from Almatti reservoir. Mr. Shivakumar has agreed to it. The respective secretaries of the two States will work on that immediately. Based on our needs and availability, if surplus water is available we will give it to them for drinking purposes,” Mr. Fadnavis told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 8:34:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-demands-3-tmcft-water-in-return-for-supply-to-karnataka/article27142303.ece

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