Keri, July 25: The tribunal for the Mhadei water dispute has scheduled a hearing today in the matter of the interlocutory application filed by Karnataka for using 7 TMC feet of the Mhadei water, according to a report by the Times of India.
Goa counsel, Atmaram Nadkarni said, "The hearing on July 25 is crucial for Goa as final rounds of arguments are scheduled. Any lifting or diversion of Mhadei's water is likely to adversely affect our lifeline."
Fali Nariman, who is the counsel for Karnataka, argues that the Malaprabha river has surplus water and that there is reduction in flow to its basin. Goa's admitted case is that the yield of the Mhadei is not less than 100 TMC feet, but the utilization at present is below 10 TMC feet.
Karnataka seeks the tribunal's permission to permit pumping of TMC of water of the Mhadei's tributaries for two years till the matter has been adjucated. Karnataka has submitted few pages of arguments covering its justification. Following this, Goa has sought time to file replies.
While the Tribunal hearing is scheduled today, th emain petition pertaining to the dam and diversion of 7.56 TMC feet of water through the Kalsa-Bhandura project will be heard on Nov 25 this year.
While a report has already been submitted to Sudhir Sajjan, assistant engineer of Karnataka's WRD about the water availability in Banihalli, it is alleged to have been purposefully ignored.
Banihalli is a catchment of the Malaprabha river, which has an area of 5,048 sq km, double that of Mhadei. The water, however, is hardly used to the extent of 1.5 TMC.
"Why has Karnataka not tapped this tributary and has its eyes on Goa's lifeline Mhadei? Why doesn't Karnataka utilise 22 rivers in Belagavi district to supply drinking water to Hubbali-Dharwad areas? Are questions that still remained to be answered.
Goa now has to justify the opposition for lifting 7 TMC feet of water against the 34 TMC feet by Karnataka. Meanwhile, in the masterplan prepared by Goa, the projected requirement of the state in 2051 is 64 TMC.