State to move SC over Mahadayi tribunal

Basavaraj Bommai told reporters here that “the Centre’s decision is hasty, politically motivated, intended to please Goa. It has hurt the legitimate interests of Karnataka.”
The Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to set up the tribunal comprising a chairman and two members to be nominated by the chief justice of India from among judges of the Supreme Court or the high court.

Bommai said Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and apprise him of the State’s stand. Besides, he will shortly meet the Union Water Resources Minister and lodge a protest.

To provide drinking water to the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad, Karnataka took up a project to divert 7.5 tmcft of Mahadayi waters in 2002 after obtaining the Centre’s clearance. But Goa opposed it before the Supreme Court and sought the constitution of the tribunal. Karnataka has opposed the setting up of the tribunal.

Bommai said the forest branch of the Supreme Court had directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to resolve the issue by holding talks. However, the ministry did not take any step in this direction. “It is mandatory for the Centre to hold talks first and form a tribunal only when it is satisfied that a dispute cannot be resolved through talks,” he said.

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