A committee constituted by the Maharashtra government has said that last year's devastating flood in western Maharashtra was not caused due to the Almatti dam in Karnataka, an official said.
The Wadnere Committee, which submitted its report to the state government recently, has also recommended setting up of a board for flood management and suggested that officials of the water resources department from Maharashtra and neighboring Karnataka be made part of it.
The committee had been set up after Kolhapur and Sangli districts witnessed massive floods in August last year, which not only claimed human lives and killed livestock, but also damaged properties and ruined crops to the tune of crores of rupees.
"The committee has not put any blame on Almatti dam, located near Sangli and Karnataka border, for causing floods in Kolhapur and Sangli. There are several confluences of rivers in a shorter distance between Karad (in Satara), Sangli and Kolhapur that lead to speedy rise in water levels," an official of the state water resources department said.
During the last year's floods, it was alleged that the Karnataka government was responsible as it did not release water from the Almatti dam on the Krishna River and its backwater caused the flooding.
About the committee's recommendation for formation of a board, the official said, "The national level board will have members from the Centre as well as officials of the water resources department from the states involved in it. In our case, the Wadnere committee has recommended setting up this board between Karnataka and Maharashtra."
"It is always good to have a proper water management system in place and official sharing of information. Currently, the district collector of Kolhapur and local dam authorities keep officials of Almatti dam in the loop, but it will be better if such an arrangement is made available officially," he said.