Notwithstanding the long pending border issue, the Governors of Maharashtra and Karnataka Mr VS Koshyari and Mr Thawarchand Gehlot respectively on Friday met and discussed a whole range of issues of the border districts at the coordination committee meeting at Kolhapur. Both Governors showered praise on the administration of border districts from both states for their coordination but insisted that it needs to be further increased.
The issues with regard to maintaining the level of Almatti Dam water at 517.50 m every year to avoid floods in border districts of Maharashtra, control the traffic of illicit liquor from both sides, illegal movement of molasses, prohibit illegal sex determination tests and increase sharing of information about various amenities for tourists and pilgrims.
A consensus was reached in the coordination meeting to make the direction boards in both languages (Marathi and Kannada) for the common citizens who speak Marathi and Kannada and visit for religious, tourism, employment, health and other reasons.
Collectors and Superintendents of Police of five border districts of Maharashtra and four districts of Karnataka were present on this occasion. Sources said that after today’s meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr Eknath Shinde and Karnataka Chief Minister Mr Basavraj Bommai may meet soon.
Maharashtra Governor Mr Koshyari claimed that there has been good coordination between the border districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He observed that the coordination meeting will definitely be beneficial in the future by saying that the state government will be informed about the problems that need to be solved at the state level through the discussion between the officials of both states.
On his part, Karnataka Governor Mr Gehlot expressed his satisfaction regarding this state-level coordination meeting and said that in accordance with the discussion held in this meeting, all the concerned administrations should create better coordination with each other and try to get the benefits of the government schemes to the citizens of that area.
The Kolhapur collector strongly argued that the water level in Almaty dam be maintained at 517.50 m till August 15 to effectively drain the flood water from Krishna river and reduce the impact of the flood. The Kitwade medium project of 3.10 TMC capacity in Aurangabad taluka in the Ghatprabha sub-basin of Krishna river be taken up as an inter-state project with mutually agreed terms and conditions. The collector suggested that the excise department of both states need to coordinate to prevent illicit liquor traffic through a thorough inspection of vehicles.
The Solapur deputy collector said 40 sugar factories in the district produce molasses and jaggery powder. In three years, 24 offenses have been registered in connection with molasses traffic. Around 703 metric tonnes of molasses has been sold for illicit liquor in the last three years. He suggested that it is necessary to maintain proper coordination between the excise authorities of both the states.
The Osmanabad collector raised the crucial issue of online complaints about illegal sex determination tests or gender diagnosis carried out in Kalburgi district. He said that the district administration has conducted sting operations and taken stern action and suggested that similar action be initiated by the Kalburgi administration. He further suggested that the Karnataka government needs to impose ban on sale of Gutka pan masala on the lines of Maharashtra.
The Belgavi district official insisted that quality road connectivity between Belgavi and Maharashtra via Amboli Ghat is needed to boost trade. The Vijaypura district collector made a strong case to curb the smuggling and other crimes and increase information sharing between the two states about basic facilities provided to tourists and pilgrims.
The Bidar collector suggested that both the states will have to take more steps to prevent cross border movement of criminals. The Kalburgi collector suggested that the basic facilities to Kannada medium schools in the adjoining villages of Maharashtra should be provided and also the strict implementation of Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act,1994.