Where will Posco get water from?

The steel project at Gadag wont get water from TB; may be from Almatti

The State government issuing the preliminary notification to acquire over 3,000 acres of land in Gadag has come as a relief to the firm, but the problem of water still looms large.
The firm is awaiting a reply from the government on its application for water supply from a nearby water source for the project –– a critical requirement for a steel project.

Although sources in the Industry Department had earlier told Deccan Herald that the State is looking into either Tungabhadra river or Almatti dam for the same, now, it is said  provisions of supplying water from Tungabhadra which is closer to the project site, as opposed to Almatti, over 100 km away, is ruled out.

Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh R Nirani told Deccan Herald: “There is no question of allotting water from Tungabhadra. It is not a decision unique to Posco, but a conscious decision that will see no industry get water from the river.”

Well-placed sources in Posco told Deccan Herald: “We are yet to receive an official reply from the government. We have asked for water from a water source close to our site, but the government will decide.”

The decision not to allot water from Tungabhadra leaves Almatti as the sole closest source of water to the steel plant. But that would require water to be transported from over 100 km.

Sources in the Industry Department said chances of water actually being allotted look bleak, as there could be several restrictions on sourcing water even  from Almatti.

“Although the government might be considering allotting water from Almatti, it is certain that they might not allow them to source water throughout the year. Some other clauses are being worked out before the offer is made,” an informed source said.

Nirani, who confirmed that the firm will not be allowed to source water through the year said: “Posco can source water from the dam only when there is an excess resulting in an overflow. They will be barred from utilising water stored in the dam during lean seasons.”

He further said that the government was examining the prospects of creating an artificial water body (like a lake) near Almatti dam, which the company could use to store water for the lean season.

But the cost, he explained, must be borne by the company. Posco, however, maintained that there was no official communication from the government yet and that the firm had left the matter over water to the government.

“It must be the responsibility of the government to find solutions for the water problems the industries are facing or might face. We can only propose, they must come up with whatever solution is feasible for both parties,” the source said.

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