Tackling water crisis is first big challenge for CM Siddaramaiah

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BANGALORE: The water levels in Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) in Mandya district and Almatti in Bijapur, the lifelines for drinking water and irrigation in the Cauvery and Krishna basins, have almost touched dead storage. Tackling the escalating water crisis will be chief minister Siddaramaiah’s first challenge.

In Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli-Dharwad and Bijapur, supply of drinking water is already being rationed. The CM has directed government officials to treat it as a top priority. On Monday, water resources minister M P Patil admitted that the depleting water levels are a “cause of concern” and the biggest challenge for him. “I have decided not to go to my native district, Bijapur, until a solution is found to the KRS water crisis. I will hold meetings with officials in this regard,” he said.

Water resources department officials are looking at the possibility of digging a trench to pump the dead storage in KRS. This experiment was supposed to be taken up on Monday, but it did not happen.

Retired bureaucrat SM Jaamdar, who oversaw the construction of the Almatti dam, says siphoning of dead-storage water is possible.

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