Bombay High Court asked state government Tuesday to replenish the low-lying Ujjani dam with water from other reservoirs,so that agricultural activity on a 500-km stretch could re-start.
Justices Mohit Shah and M S Sanklecha directed the government to release as much water as possible within 24 hours. HC was hearing petitions by Mohol Taluka Bahu Uddeshiya Shetkari and Shankarrao Sathe alleging failure to implement equitable water distribution.
The petitioners said Ujjani dam was part of Bhima irrigation project along Bhima river tributary that covered 22 dams. They said it was one of the biggest in state and provided multiple benefits such as irrigation,hydro-electric power,drinking and industrial water supply.
The authorities,the petitioners claimed,had been informed level in the dam that provides water to the drought-prone Solapur district had dipped to minus-30 owing to scanty rainfall.
Last month,HC had asked the petitioners to make a representation to Water Resources Regulatory Authority (WRRA) that was directed to decide equitable water distribution. However,the authority said it had no members to take a decision in the matter.
The court Tuesday asked the government pleader to take necessary instructions from the chief secretary regarding appointment of WRRA members and adjourned the case till April 15.