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Posted at: May 14, 2019, 1:01 PM; last updated: May 14, 2019, 1:01 PM (IST)

After protests, Maharashtra stops release of water to Karnataka

After protests, Maharashtra stops release of water to Karnataka
Khodshi dam on Krishna river on August 18, 2018. PTI file photo

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, May 14
 
Following protests from the Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra Government has decided not to release water from the Koyna and Warana reservoirs into the Krishna river for the benefit of neighbouring Karnataka.
 
State government sources said here that the Devendra Fadnavis government wants to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the neighbouring state before water is released.
 
According to the understanding between the two states, Maharashtra was to release 4,000 million cubic feet (tmcft) of water into the Krishna river every summer to provide drinking water to north-western Karnataka. In turn, the neighbouring state will release 2 tmcft of water for the kharif and rabi crop seasons respectively from the Almatti dam to benefit the Solapur and Jatt regions in Maharashtra, according to officials.
 
The Maharashtra government had already released 9,000 cusecs of water to Karnataka on humanitarian grounds while the water-for-water exchange agreement was being negotiated.
 
The agreement to swap water between the two states is being opposed by the Shiv Sena, which warned that the people of Satara district in Maharashtra would lose their share of water. 
 
“The water stock in the Koyna dam has fallen to 34.89 tmcft which is 4.49 tmcft lower than last year,” Desai wrote in a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He added that release of water from the dam to Karnataka should be stopped immediately.
 
The Shiv Sena, which has a history of protests against “outsiders”, including South Indians, has backed its MLA. Party sources say they may launch protests against the Fadnavis government if water was released to Karnataka.
 
According to information available from the water resources department here, both Maharashtra and Karnataka are reeling from severe drought due to poor rainfall last year.
 

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