Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
Welcoming the meeting between Mr. Naidu and Mr. Krishna in Bangalore on Saturday, Mr. Patil said this (initiative) was necessary as Karnataka had problems with Tamil Nadu on sharing Cauvery waters, while Goa was against the Mahadayi project.
While complimenting Mr. Krishna and Mr. Naidu for taking a positive step, he, however, felt that Karnataka should tread cautiously and help Andhra Pradesh by providing drinking water only.
He sought to drive home the point that Karnataka was an upper riparian and also a lower riparian State. Karnataka could not demand that Maharashtra release water while refusing to release water to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, it was necessary to set up a "SAARC-type body" by including Pondicherry also to forge a cordial relationship and solve problems in a friendly atmosphere. This would also go a long way in strengthening the mutual relationship among the people of the States.
He refused to comment on Mr. Naidu's reported comment on waging war with Karnataka and his alleged role in the delay in clearances to the State's irrigation projects.
Claiming that it was during his period as Irrigation Minister in the Bangarappa Cabinet that the work on Alamatti dam was expedited, Mr. Patil said he had strongly favoured raising the height of the dam from 519 ft. to 524 ft.
He said the Government should complete all works on canals and distributaries for optimum utilisation of Krishna waters.
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