BENGALURU: The mighty Krishna, Ghataprabha and Netravathi rivers have gone dry in several patches across the state. Though Karnataka is blessed with plenty of water resources, they are managed badly. On top of it, there are several areas in the state that receive scanty rainfall and are perennially drought-prone. If no action is taken, the state could face a great water crisis, experts warned.
Former water resources minister Govind Karjol said, ‘We have fought a good fight over water. It is time for the new team led by DK Shivakumar to take over. We have done so much on the Upper Krishna Project (UKP), but still there is so much more to do. A lot of work is also needed on Mahadayi and Mekedatu projects. We wish that the new government will take over and continue what we worked so hard on.’’
Karjol said that two budgetary allocations totalling Rs 10,000 crore were made for UKP over two years and land acquisition, rehabilitation and civil works are going on non-stop. “The Mahadayi project, which will help alleviate drinking water problems in many areas, is in progress, so is the work of releasing the gazette notification on Krishna waters. I am sure Mekedatu will go as planned,’’ he said.
“For UKP Stage 3, there is an ongoing exercise to acquire 1.34 lakh acres of land, for the canal network and the reservoir. We had started this exercise by paying farmers three times the rates for irrigated land. We have given the farmers depreciation too,’’ he added.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who is the water resources minister, said, “We are working according to a plan. We are strategically working on all key water resource areas.”