Belagavi: With the drinking water crisis deepening in most of parts of north Karnataka, it's feared it could be heading for the worst drought it has seen in the last two decades.
Districts depending on the Krishna river for their water are drying up because neighbouring Maharashtra has still not released the state's share of water from its Koyna and Rajapur dams as their catchment areas have not received adequate rainfall, leaving several areas of that state reeling under a dry spell as well.
An alarmed Kudchi MLA, P Rajeev has appealed to the Karnataka government to pay Maharashtra Rs 4 crore to ensure release of the state's share of 4 tmc feet of water into the Krishna from the Koyna dam. He has also suggested that Water Resources Minister, M B Patil lead a delegation of legislators from Belagavi, Vijayapura and Bagalkot to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis to seek his help with the water crisis.
Legislators from the worst- hit areas have urged the government to tap alternative sources of water and suggested it drill borewells in all drought-hit areas. Athani MLA, Laxman Savadi has advised the government to open cattle houses in the affected areas to provide fodder and water for the animals and suggested it use the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) to tackle the situation.
Hundreds of farmers from the drought-hit areas have in the meanwhile submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner demanding the laying of a new pipeline to bring water to Bailhongal from the Tigadi-Harinala canal. And with a multi-village water supply scheme of the government to supply water to drought-prone areas of Belagavi taluk hit by power shortage, over 25,000 people from these parts are demanding an immediate solution....