(G.N.S) Dt. 05
Citing severe drought conditions prevailing in the Tungabhadra catchment areas of Karnataka, the neighbouring state has requested the TRS government to allow them to utilize 3.5 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) of water which is Telangana’s share from the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS).
Karnataka minister for water resources MB Patil on Thursday flew down to Hyderabad and made the request Telangana irrigation minister T Harish Rao in a personal meeting. “In view of the drought conditions, we need the water from the RDS both for irrigation and drinking water purpose,” he reportedly told Harish Rao. The state government would first assess water requirements of the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district before taking a call on the request. “The Telangana government is considering Karnataka’s request. We informed them that the state government would come get back to them after assessing the Telangana’s requirement. In return, Karantaka has offered to give 2 tmc ft of water from Narayanpur to Jurala whenever required by us,” Irrigation minister T Harish Rao told TOI. Indications are that Harish Rao would discuss the issue with chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao before finalizing a decision on Karnataka’s request.
Harish Rao said he had spoken with his AP counterpart D Umamaheshwara Rao on sending a common indent to the Tungabhadra board. Irrigation officials said nearly 7,000 acres ayacut in Alampur assembly constituency depend on the water from RDS. Official sources said the state government is likely to respond positively to the Karnataka government’s request as the latter had last year released one tmc ft water from Narayanpur for the drinking water requirements of erstwhile Mahbubnagar district. Interestingly, Congress MLA from Alampur Sampath Kumar, who was present during the meeting of Patil and Harish Rao, told the TRS government that the people of Alampur have no objection if Karnataka government is allowed to utilize the RDS water.
At the meeting, Telangana and Karnataka officials also decided hold a meeting of officials of the AP, Karnataka and Telangana governments on modernisation works of RDS. Harish Rao said against the original design of RDS to irrigate 87,000 acres, not even 20,000 acres in Mahbubnagar district are not being irrigated. Though works were taken up in the combined AP state, they were not completed yet. He said the Karnataka government has said it would release the required funds for modernisation. According to Karnataka minister Patil, a meeting with irrigation ministers and secretaries of all the three states should be convened to take a final on the works.
Karnataka education minister Tanveer Sait, Labour minister Santosh S Lad, Karantaka MLAs and Telangana special chief secretary SK Joshi were present in the meeting.
(G.N.S) Dt. 05