River politics: Krishna changes course

Published: Saturday 15 February 2003

The Krishna river waters have changed course. They are suddenly flowing in the reverse direction, from the lower riparian state of Karnataka to Maharashtra which is an upper riparian state. But the water is bypassing Andhra Pradesh even though it falls in the way.

The reverse flow is Congress-ruled Karnataka's gift to Maharashtra where, too, the party is in power. Never mind the fact that Telugu Desam Party-governed Andhra Pradesh is in desperate need of water to tide over acute scarcity. The Karnataka government has even breached the newly laid Indi Branch Canal to redirect water from Narayanapur reservoir to Solapur and other thirsty parts of Maharashtra.

Informed sources estimate that 500 cusecs are being released from the Indi canal every day. Karnataka's minister for agriculture produce marketing cooperatives B S Patil Sasanur said the water was being released on 'humanitarian' grounds, to host a 'fair' in Solapur.

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