Karnataka Can Raise Almatti Dam Height to 524 Metres - The New Indian Express

Karnataka Can Raise Almatti Dam Height to 524 Metres

Published: 30th November 2013 08:26 AM

Last Updated: 30th November 2013 08:27 AM

Karnataka has won a crucial legal battle against Andhra Pradesh and can now raise the height of the Almatti reservoir across the Krishna river according to its original plan.

The second Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal on Friday dismissed Andhra Pradesh’s objections to Karnataka raising the dam height to 524.26 metres. The objections had forced Karnataka to store water at 519.6 metres.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar, delivered the order in response to petitions by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, seeking clarifications on some aspects of its December 31, 2010 final award.

D N Desai, former chief engineer and chairman of the expert committee advising Karnataka, told Express the order would enable the state to irrigate 5.25 lakh more hectares.

The final award had fixed Andhra Pradesh’s share in the Krishna basin at 1,001 tmc ft, while awarding Karnataka 911 tmc ft and Maharashtra 666 tmc ft at 65 pc dependability. (In engineering terms, ‘dependability’ is a measure of availability).

In its Friday order, the tribunal also asked Karnataka to release 4 tmc ft from  Tungabhadra to Rajolibanda canal in Andhra Pradesh.

Karnataka Water Resources Minister M B Patil welcomed the order and said the state would expedite works to use its full quota in the Upper Krishna Project.

If Karnataka raises the height of the dam to 524 metres, 22 more villages would be fully submerged and 192 partially submerged. According to Almatti dam chief engineer Anantaram, the government will have to acquire 1.20 lakh acres of additional land. Villages facing submersion have been identified but steps to acquire land or provide rehabilitation are yet to be taken.

What it means

Karnataka can raise the height of the dam by 5m

It can irrigate 5.4 lakh hectares more

Twenty-two villages will be fully submerged, and 192 partly submerged

Over one lakh people will have to be rehabilitated

Award can’t be

implemented till the SC clears another Krishna water dispute case

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