State to irrigate Sangli dist if M'rashtra shares costs

State to irrigate Sangli dist if M'rashtra shares costs

Karnataka will enter into an inter-state water sharing agreement with Maharashtra, if it agrees to share the costs.

Water resources minister M B Patil told reporters on Wednesday that the government was ready to extend its macro irrigation project, along the Bhima river, to Maharashtra to provide water to Jat taluk in Sangli district.

He told reporters that the Maharashtra government had sought the State’s co-operation to provide water to 45 villages in Jat taluk. “Maharashtra has made the initial proposal to provide water to Jat taluk and to the whole of Sangli district itself, as it is easier to procure water from here rather than from their dams,” said Patil.

However, the State’s farmers are facing a problem as the project has been put on hold due to Maharashtra’s ‘ambiguity’. Close to 40,000 hectares of land in the Bhima river basin is supposed to be irrigated by the project. Patil said the State’s project already costs Rs 2,500 crore and this will increase if it has to be extended to the neighbouring state.

The minister said he would personally speak to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to clear the ambiguity and proceed with the State’s project.

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