Bengaluru, July 27: In a major setback to Karnataka, Mahadayi river tribunal verdict on Wednesday, July 27 went against the state, while favouring Goa and Maharashtra.
Shortly after the verdict, reports emerged that people of North Karnataka have erupted with anger and are planning widespread protest.
Tribunal nixed Karnataka plea to divert Mahadayi water: Goa CM
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today said the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal has rejected Karnataka's plea to divert 7.56 TMC water from the Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha river and termed it as an "important decision for the bright future of Goa".
"Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, in its oral interim order passed today, rejected Karnataka's plea to divert 7.56 TMC water from Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha river. We have won the battle, but war lies ahead," Parsekar told reporters today after tribunal gave its order in New Delhi today."
"Our advocate and additional solicitor general Atmaram Nadkarni has done good study and research over the issue. I congratulate him and also the state water resources department officers. This is an important decision for the bright future of Goa," Parsekar added.
Goa Environment and Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar today welcomed the interim order of the Mahadayi interstate water tribunal directing the Karnataka government not to divert 7.56 TMC water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha basin.
"It has been upheld by the tribunal that our demand has got sanctity. This is an interim order and it will be confirmed in the future because our demand is just. Not simply from the perspective of law but also from the people's point of view. Our position on the Mahadayi diversion issue is in the interest of the people of Karnataka and Goa," Arlekar said.
Goa and Karnataka are currently battling out a dispute over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mahadayi river at a central tribunal. Mahadayi, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of the state. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa.
While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa. Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in north Karnataka.
On July 19, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into what he said was "massive destruction" of the Western Ghats by neighbouring Karnataka, especially in and around the Mahadayi river basin.
Goa had an ongoing dispute with Karnataka in a central tribunal over the proposed diversion of the Mahadayi river for the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project.
The latest flashpoint has been over the move to appoint Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni as Goa's counsel at the Central Water Disputes Tribunal. The Karnataka government has objected to Nadkarni's appointment.
Mahadayi Water Tribubal has been hearing the petition filed by Goa against Maharashtra and Karnataka against the diversion of water. The coastal state (Goa) has contested that diversion would adversely affect the ecology.
(With agency inputs)