A three-level coordination committee has been set up to tackle recurring floods in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border districts, state Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil announced Thursday following a high-level meeting with his Karnataka counterpart Ramesh Jarkiholi.
According to officials from the state irrigation department, discharge of water from the Almatti dam, located on the Krishna River in Karnataka’s Bijapur district, is key to the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in Maharashtra. Last year, after Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara were severely hit by the flood, the central leadership had to intervene and request the Karnataka government to increase water discharge from the dam to reduce waterlogging in the affected districts in Maharashtra.
To resolve the problem, this year the two governments have come together to set up a mechanism wherein there will be three-level coordination talks between water resources ministers and secretaries of both the states and dialogue among technical experts along with monitoring rise of water level in the dam and its catchment areas during the monsoon.
“The purpose of the meeting was to evolve a mechanism through continuous dialogue at government, administrative and technical expert levels for better flood management. Directives have been issued to regulate the water level in Almatti dam that may rise due to incessant rainfall in monsoon,” Patil said. “Over the last 20 years, lot of bridges have been constructed over the Krishna valley. A decision was taken to conduct a structural audit of these bridges,” he added.
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