BANGALORE: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka Government to stop drinking water supply to Andhra Pradesh in connection with a public interest litigation seeking supply of drinking water to Pavagada, Madhugiri and Sira taluks through the pipeline laid for the Neelakantapuram Srirami Reddy water project in Andhra Pradesh.

The Karnataka Rashtriya Kissan Sangha, Indian Medical Association and some organisations stated in their petition that people in these taluks suffer from diseases like fluorosis due to fluoride contamination in groundwater. And though a 10-km pipeline to Andhra is being laid through Pavagada taluk, people in the taluk are being deprived of this water.

The petitioners said that if 2 TMC of water from the project, a joint venture between Andhra and Karnataka to bring water from the Tungabhadra Dam in Hospet through Pavagada taluk to Andhra Pradesh, is provided, there will be a permanent solution to the crisis.

Counsel for the petitioner Narasa Reddy said people had given several representations to the state government and though they marched 170 km from Pavagada to Bangalore to submit a letter to the government on Monday, nothing had been done to solve the problem.

Hearing the petition, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna, came down heavily on the state government saying, “You are not giving water to your children but giving it to others. It is a fundamental right of every citizen to get basic needs. You have to solve the problem right now otherwise it may lead to interstate conflicts.”