Kalasa Banduri : Things to know

Kalasa Banduri : Things to know

Kalasa Banduri : Things to know

Asha Krishnaswamy

The ongoing protests for the implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri project, as part of the Mahadayi river water-sharing with Goa, have crippled normal life in many taluks of Vijayapura, Dharwad and Gadag districts in Karnataka.Nargund taluk in Gadag is the nerve centre of these protests.

The dawn-to-dusk protests have been going on for the past two months. Navalgund taluk in Dharwad, too, is witnessing agitations by farmers for the past 45 days.

Farmers and members of Raitha Sene led by Shankarappa Ambli, Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samanvaya Samiti, Patrivana Mutt, among others, are part of the agitation in the two taluks.

Protests have spread to the taluks in Belagavi district, too. Roads connecting Nargund and Navalgund are closed from morning to evening. Educational institutions and commercial establishments have remained shut. Economic activity has been hit as districts of north interior Karnataka reel under severe drought.

Besides the speedy implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri project, the agitators have been demanding that the Karnataka government make an effective argument before the tribunal to assert its rights over the Mahadayi water.

Presently, there seems to be no respite from the agitation with political parties indulging in a blame game. Here is a peek into the problem and its present status.

The proposed project

Karnataka plans to divert a meagre 7.56 tmc of its Mahadayi basin contribution to the Malaprabha dam to meet the drinking water needs of the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the surrounding towns and villages.

The plan is to channelise the diverted water through Kalasa-Banduri, two separate canals so that water could be
supplied to the twin cities and Nargund, Navalgund, Badami, Ron, Gadag and 100 villages.

Water from the canals joins the Mahadayi river at Kanakumbi
village in Khanapur taluk.

 Water scarcity in these areas is acute as water is supplied once in 10 days.
 The project was planned in 2001 though the talks have been on since 1976.
 The plan is to utilise 7.56 tmcft of water in a phased manner before 2050.
 The Union Ministry of Water Resources, through a letter dated 30/4/2002, has given in-principle clearance to the project.
The National Environment
Engineering Institute has also cleared the project.


  Kalasa-Banduri project planned in 1989; Goa raised objection to it.
  Goa filed a complaint seeking setting up of a tribunal in July 2002.
  The Ministry of Water Resources kept the clearance given to Karnataka in abeyance in September 2002.
  Goa moved the Supreme Court in 2006 seeking constitution of a tribunal, withdrawing approval for any work in the basin.
  Mahadayi (Mandovi) is a water deficit basin and water diversion could impact the environment.
  The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on 22.11.2010.
  The tribunal has framed 70 issues for determination of claims by the riparian states. The matter has been posted for hearing on November 23, 2015.
  The states have completed filing the statements before the tribunal.
  The final verdict should be given before August 2016.

The river, data and water sharing

 Mahadayi, the west-flowing inter-state river in the Western Ghats, takes birth in Degaon village, Khanapur taluk, Belagavi district.
 The river travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa
before joining the Arabian Sea. The River Mahadayi is called Mandovi in Goa.
  Total catchment area 2,032 sq km
 Catchment area in Karnataka 375 sq km
 As per the Central Water Commission in 2003, the yield in the Mahadayi river basin is 220 tmc.
 According to Karnataka’s Water Resources Development Organisation, the yield in Karnataka basin is 44.15 tmc.

State’s claims before the Tribunal

Karnataka’s intended use of water for the Kalasa-Banduri project: 7.56 tmcUsage of water within the basin area: 1.5 tmc
Mahadayi hydro-elect project: 14.971 tmc

The agitation is only going to intensify. There has been an undeclared bandh for many weeks. The economy has gone for a toss. The water dispute should be settled through talks.”
Shankarappa Ambali
General secretary, Raitha Sena

There is severe water scarcity in our region. The issue is serious. Farmers’ agitation has now turned into a people’s movement. We have to settle the water-sharing issue out of court. The Mahadayi project should be implemented at the earliest. Goa is not utilising the river water, but is still raising objection to let us use our share.”
B R Yavgal
Congress MLA, Nargund

Karnataka’s argumentand present status

The dispute should be settled through talks and not through the tribunal.
No intention to utilise the water without obtaining clearances as per law.
The Kalasa canal to Malaprabha is planned in non-forest areas.
Some work has been completed.

The total estimated cost for the canal works was Rs 100 crore and escalated to Rs 120 crore in 2013.

An all-party delegation from Karnataka met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 24, 2015. The Congress has been blaming Modi for reportedly not offering succour to Karnataka, while the BJP argues that Modi was receptive.