‘Discharge from Almatti dam in Karnataka key to flood situation in Kolhapur, Sangli’
Discharge of water from Almatti Dam is key to the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli, officials from the irrigation department of Maharashtra said, on condition of anonymity.
Experts pointed out that flooding in these districts since Tuesday could have been avoided by timely intervention of the Maharashtra government for discharge of the water from the dam.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to his Karnataka counterpart BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday, requesting him for more discharge of water from the dam which is in Bijapur district on the Krishna river.
“After my talks with the Karanataka CM, the discharge kept on increasing day-by-day. From 2.5 lakh cusecs, it went up to four lakh yesterday, and today they have admitted to increase it to five lakh cusecs. I even spoke to BJP president Amit Shahji, who in turn, spoke to Yediyurappaji,” Fadnavis said.
On Monday, the discharge of water from the dam was about 2.25 lakh cusecs, which was increased gradually and reached 3.55 lakh cusecs on Thursday afternoon. Fadnavis said the Karnataka government has admitted to increase it to 5 lakh cusecs, but until late evening on Thursday, it had not crossed four lakh cusecs.
An official from the Mantralaya, who did not wish to be named, said, “It is true that the rise in the discharge from Almatti on Monday would have helped in keeping the waterlogging [in Maharashtra] under control. Initially, Karnataka government was not keen on more discharge from the dam, as they wanted to ensure adequate water stock for the state and it could risk villages in two of their districts.” However, the Karnataka government agreed after Delhi intervened.
Another official said the request from the Maharashtra government should have been made earlier. “The discharge of water from any dam is decided on the quantum of the rainfall in the catchment area as accumulation in the dam takes at least 12 hours. The downpour was witnessed in Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur since Saturday and request by the state on Sunday could have helped in avoiding floods,” he said, adding that quick intervention by the Water Resources Department was important.
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party slammed the state government for the delay in coordination with the Karnataka government. NCP’s state chief Jayant Patil said that government’s apathetic stand endangered the lives of the people from these districts.