A day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai said that around 40 villages of Jat taluka in Sangli district have demanded their merger with the southern state due to water crisis, the district administration has said that none of the villages in question had sought water tanker from the district Collectorate in the last five months.
“As per my information, none of the villages currently suffers from any water problem,” Sangli district collector Raja Dyanidhi told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
The district administration said there are 67 villages in border areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka. “Of 40 villages which passed the resolution 10 years ago for inclusion in Karnataka state, only eight faced water crisis in May-June. We had to provide eight water tankers to these villages. The tankers made 28 trips in a day. After June, when it rained, the water problem of these villages disappeared.”
Jat MLA Vikram Sawant said, “Not only is there no drinking water problem in these villages, they have adequate water for irrigation as well.”
Throwing more light on the resolution, Sawant said, “Ten years back, there was drought and villagers were struggling for water. At that time, the villagers had urged the Maharashtra government to either provide adequate quantity of water or give them permission to merge with Karnataka.” No one is making such a demand now and water is available for the villages, he added.
The protest by the villagers compelled the Maharashtra government to revise the Mhaisal project, Sawant said. “The Mhaisal project has been extended till these border villages. Besides, the Maharashtra government also helped the Karnataka government by allowing them to lift water of Krishna river. We gave them 6 TMC water. In turn, the Tubachi-Bableshwar project implemented by Karnataka government in borders helped 42 villages of Sangli district. The natural overflow of water from the project helped lakes, wells and borewells fill up,” Sawant said, adding that there were at least four lakes in the border villages which are all filled to the brim at present. “In last two-three years, rainfall has been good in this part of the state and this why it has faced less severe water crisis,” he said.