BENGALURU: The Union government has accepted the objections raised by Karnataka on the proposed Ponnaiyar-Palar river linking project. With this, the obstacles have been cleared for the implementation of the Rs 1,000 crore project to treat the sewage water from Bengaluru city and utilise it for meeting the irrigation needs of the parched districts of Kolar and Chikkaballapur. The National Water Development Agency (NWDA) had in its pre-feasibility report on the Ponnaiyar (Krishnagiri)-Palar river link project allocated to Tamil Nadu 9.57 tmcft of water upstream of Krishnagiri dam (from the sewage generated from Bengaluru city’s water) which was flowing down to the neighbouring state.
Karnataka Water Resources minister M B Patil had presented the state’s objections against this move at a meeting of the NWDA. “Karnataka is meeting the drinking water requirements of Bengaluru by cutting down the allocation made for irrigation in Cauvery basin, and by sacrificing on that account, Karnataka is entitled to make use of regenerated (treated sewage water) flow for its benefit as and when it feels necessary,” Karnataka argued. Patil told Express, “Karnataka had requested the Union water resources department not to consider the regenerated water from the drinking water supply of Bengaluru city in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to be prepared for the river-linking project. Our objection has been accepted and we are entitled to reuse the drinking water being supplied to Bengaluru.”
Karnataka has started the implementation of its `1000 crore project for using the sewage water of Bengaluru for filling the irrigation tanks of Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts. Water treatment plants are being set up and pipelines were being laid for the purpose. Karnataka has assured its support for the interlinking of rivers scheme based on the principle of equitable water sharing. The state has said that it will give due consideration to existing irrigated area, drinking water needs and drought-prone regions.