New Delhi: Karnataka’s water resources minister D K Shivakumar reportedly said he would hold talks with Maharashtra’s water resources minister to find a permanent solution to the water crisis prevailing in the border districts of Karnataka. The decision comes after his visit to the Rajapur barrage in Shirol taluk of Kolhapur district on Saturday. 

The minister reportedly said, “The matter of exchanging 4 tmcft water between both states is under consideration and will be finalized only after deliberations between both states.” Irrigation officials, some of the elected representatives from Belagavi and few Maharashtra officials accompanied Shivakumar during his visit to the Kallol, Manjari, Ugar barrages on the Krishna River. Notably, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has written about an MoU between the two states to Kumaraswamy and the Karnataka chief minister has sought some time to take a decision in this regard. Shivakumar reportedly said, “We want farmers of both the states to get benefit from the MoU and we are working on it.”

On June 18, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy blamed the country’s federal system which, he claimed, restricted the people of Karnataka from using water of their state. The chief minister reportedly said, “It is the misfortune of our state that even if we fill our tanks, if we have to use our water, the federal structure of the country is such that we are obligated to abide by the court and (river water) tribunal’s directions.”

Kumaraswamy made the comment after his meeting with the kin of a farmer at a village in Mandya who allegedly committed suicide. Before dying, Suresh took a selfie-video addressed to the chief minister where he blamed loans and the lack of water in the water bodies in the locality, for his taking the extreme step and asks the CM to ensure filling the tanks. He urged farmers not to take such extreme steps because the government was looking into their problems. Kumaraswamy said the government has allocated Rs 213 crore for filling the tanks in the district to improve the groundwater table.

(With agency inputs)