Hyderabad: In a complete reversal of the general trend, Karnataka for the first time has asked the Telangana state government to forego its share of Tungabhadra waters to help it tide over the crisis it is facing.
In return, Karnataka has promised to release 2 tmc ft of water from the Krishna river.
Karnataka irrigation minister M.B. Patil flew down here on Thursday and discussed the requ-est with TS minister T. Harish Rao and senior officials of the irrigation department. Mr Harish Rao told him that the re-quest would be considered positively after expl-oring possibilities and talking to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Mr Patil said the Karn-ataka government was finding it difficult to supply water from the Tung-abhadra dam to the command area due to severe scarcity. He requested the TS government permission to use its quota of 3.5 tmc ft of water from the Tungabhadra dam.
The Karnataka government is prepared to release 2 tmc ft of Krishna water from the Narayanapur dam to the Jurala dam whenever it is ready to take it.
Mr Harish Rao said he would hold a meeting shortly to review the water requirement for the standing crop in 7,000 acres in the Alampur Assembly segment in Gadwal district and then come to a decision on how much water it can spare from its share of Tungabhadra water.
Congress legislator S.A. Sampath Kumar of Ala-mpur who also attended the meeting said he had no objection to forgoing the quota if standing crops were protected.
Mr Patil told Mr Harish Rao that Karnataka had earlier conceded the request of the Telangana state government for release of 1 tmc ft of Krishna waters to the Jurala project to meet urgent drinking water requirements.
Mr Patil also agreed to attend a joint meeting of irrigation ministers if Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh to finalise the strategy for taking up development work on the Rajolibanda diversion scheme, which were pending for long.
Mr Patil asked Mr Harish Rao to take initiative for the joint meeting as, without cooperation from Andhra Pradesh, the Karnataka government could not take up the works.
TS Special Chief Secre-tary, irrigation, S.K. Joshi, Engineer-in-Chief C. Muralidhar, chief engineer, inter-state affairs, S. Narasimha Rao and chief engineer, Jurala, Khagender Rao, participated.
Mr Patil was accompanied by Karnataka ministers Tanveer Sait and Santosh Lad, legislators K.C. Kondaiah, Pratap Gowda, Ampula Gowda, Sivaraj Tangidi and Bose Raj irrigation principal secretary Rakesh Singh.