Stop water supply to AP till Pavagad gets it: High Court

The High Court of Karnataka has directed the State government to stop water supply to Andhra Pradesh from Tungabhadra (TB) dam under the Nilakantapuram Srirama Reddy Water Project (NSRWP), till drinking water is supplied to Pavagad and adjoining areas.

Hearing a petition by Karnataka unit of the Rashtriya Kissan Sangh and 30 other organisations, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna lashed out at the State government for its inability to provide drinking water to Pavagad, Madhugiri and Sira taluks of Tumkur district.

During the hearing, the petitioners submitted that the region has been facing severe drinking water problem and the pipeline for NSRWP from TB Dam passes through Pavagad taluk. Yet, the government has not bothered to supply drinking water to this area of 254 villages which has a population of 2.73 lakh.

“This region is gripped by fluorosis. The ground water has depleted drastically. Despite the people of this region giving representations to the State government twice to supply water through the same water pipeline, no action has been taken,” said counsel for the petitioners G Narasi Reddy.

When he submitted that even the padayatra by 2,000 farmers from this region had not moved the government, the Bench said: “The pipeline passes through your own State, but your own children are affected. You are feeding others than feeding your own.”

When the Chief Justice said that the State government should provide drinking water to the people of this region, the government counsel submitted that it may not be possible.
The Bench, expressing its unhappiness, said: “You always speak negative. Think positive, discuss with Andhra Pradesh and decide.”

The Court, directing that the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh should be intimated about the water supply being stopped, observed: “We have no other option than direct the State to stop supply of water.”

The NSRWP pipeline, initiated as a joint venture by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments, passes through Pavagad and supplies water to Kalyanadurga, Rayadurga, Indupur, Anantpur and Penugonda regions.

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