KARNATAKA

State to ask Maharashtra to release water

BIJAPUR APRIL 9. The State Government is preparing a letter asking Maharashtra to release an adequate quantum of water into the Bheema river from the Ujjani Dam to comply with the Supreme Court directive.

The apex court, which heard a public interest litigation filed by the Bheema Nadi Neeru Rakshana Raithavarga Samiti (BNNRRS), headed by Panchappa Kalburgi, issued an interim order on April 1, directing the respondents in the PIL case (the Union Government, the Central Water Commission, and the Government of Karnataka) to implement the decision taken by consensus at a meeting held in Hyderabad on March 28.

The outcome of the meeting, which was chaired by V.K. Jyothi, Chief Engineer, Krishna and Godavari Basin Organisation of the Central Water Commission (CWC), and attended by the officials from Maharashtra and Karnataka, was that Maharashtra would release an adequate quantum of water from the Ujjani Dam to ensure at least 200 cusecs of water flow at the Takli water gauging station of the CWC near the Karnataka border, for the next three months.

Although the court gave directions on April 1, a formal order was issued next day, and copies were despatched to the parties concerned on April 3.

The Irrigation Secretary, Chennabasappa, told The Hindu on phone from Bangalore, that the execution of order had not begun yet since the Government had officially received the apex court order only today. However, it had initiated steps in this direction. A letter asking Maharashtra to help implement the apex court order would be sent latest by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kalburgi has threatened to file a contempt of court case against the respondents, who, according to him, are not making efforts to implement the order.

On the alleged late receipt of court order by the respondents, he told presspersons that it was an excuse for their inaction. They need not to wait for a formal order.