Accusing A.S. Patil Nadahalli, BJP MLA, of trying to mislead the people on utilisation of Krishna waters for irrigation, Home Minister and former Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil said the Karnataka government cannot use the surplus 173 tmc of water under phase III of Upper Krishna Project for irrigation until the Centre notified a gazette notification in this regard.
Producing a copy of the order to substantiate his claim at a press conference on Tuesday, he said the Centre could not issue an order to use water as the matter is sub judice. “The states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka have filed special leave petition in the Supreme Court on release of the quantum of water to their respective states. Though Maharashtra has not filed SLP, it has asked the SC to get the gazette notified as early as possible. Since the cases are pending, the Centre has to wait for the final order. The hearing is in July,” he said.
He was replying to Mr. Nadahalli allegations that despite the government having no bar on releasing water to farms, it was delaying this.
Mr. Patil said that as an advanced action, the previous Congress government completed major canal works as it would help usage of surplus water after raising the height of Almatti dam from the present 519 m to 524 m.
“If we waited for a gazette notification and only started construction of canal network after that, it would have taken at least ten years only to build the canals and use the given water. We have already developed a nearly 1,000-km canal network under the UKP project,” he said. The present canal system was helping supply water to tanks in the district. The storage of water in tanks is helping recharge borewells and increasing ground water table, he added. “Because of this, the production of sugarcane has increased significantly in the district. Mr. Nadahalli, who has no knowledge about this, is making false, misleading and baseless allegations,” he stated. He challenged Mr. Nadahalli to prove his charges, and said he was in touch with legal experts to file a case against Mr. Nadahalli.