Mahadayi tribunal inspects project sites

Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal on Wednesday commenced spot inspection at various project sites in Mahadayi and Malaprabha basins.

As part of the inspection that will go on till December 21, the team visited the Kalasa-Banduri and other canal diversions and construction sites in Khanapur taluk bordering with Goa on Day One.

Tribunal chairperson Justice J M Panchal, members Justice Vinay Mittal and Justice P S Narayana and a team comprising experts from Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra visited Halatara canal and dam site, Kalasa-Surla confluence, Kalasa canal works and other project sites near Chorla, Sural and Kankumbi. 

Officials of the Water Resources department gave a presentation on the flow of the River Malaprabha and diversion of its water through canals to meet the drinking water requirements of the parched cities of North Karnataka region. 

However, the team objected to taking up canal works without clearance and sanctions, as it may deprive Goa of its share of water. The tribunal asked Karnataka to abide by its undertaking on not diverting the water till the Tribunal passed its award.

Karnataka Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar said the State has been diverting its share of waters for drinking purpose, for which it doesn’t need permission. 

About 200 tmc ft water from Mahadayi flows into the sea, while Goa hardly uses three tmc ft. The State has been carrying out the works for diverting 7.5 tmc ft for meeting drinking water requirements of the North Karnataka region. 

On a query by the tribunal members, he said the State has got in-principle clearance from the Central government for the projects. 

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