Sangli irrigation official admits to delay in inspection of Almatti dam

Sangli: Now that water is being released from Almatti dam in Karnataka, the flood situation in Sangli and Kolhapur has somewhat eased. For the last four days, the rate at which water is being released from the Almatti dam has been increased from 3.80 lakh cusecs to 5.40 lakh cusecs.

However, irrigation department officials believe, had more water been released at higher speeds earlier, flooding could have been averted. An official who visited Karnataka to oversee the release of Almatti waters admitted there was a delay on the part of the Sangli irrigation department.

"Round the year, Sangli and Kolhapur have an abundance of water, but now this very abundance has caused ruination," said Shripad Malgham, a deputy engineer in the department.

Malgham has been directly informing the state government of the progress in the situation. From his admission, it is evident the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka are not in sync.

Almatti dam officials from Karnataka are in the dock for their lapse, which caused extensive damage to life and property. Only after the release of lakhs of cusecs of water could both Maharashtra and Karnataka be relieved from the flood situation, said Malgham, who went to inspect the Almatti in Karnataka and has been stationed there since last week.

Almatti dam officials have, however, denied the allegations, saying they have been cooperating with Maharashtra throughout.

On the other side, the release of water from the dam has now flooded 17 villages on the banks of Krishna. Many houses in Masuti and Mudol villages of Muddebihal taluka have been submerged.

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