Protests over reports on Tribunal's interim order

Protests over reports on Tribunal's interim order

Protests over reports on Tribunal's interim order

Protests have erupted in several parts of North Karnataka on reports that the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal's interim order is adverse to the interests of the state, the issue over which the state government has locked horns with neighbouring Goa.

Several parts of north Karnataka like Gada, Dharwad, Naragunda, Navalagunda, Gajendragad and Belagavi among other places saw protests with a few government offices coming under attack.

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.
Karnataka government had petitioned the tribunal seeking the release of 7.56 tmc of water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

The tribunal had reserved its order for today after  hearing arguments from both Karnataka and Goa side. Commenting on the issue, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said he is yet to go through the copy of the order.

"We will discuss it in the cabinet, also as this is the issue concerning the interest of the state so we will discuss with all parties and we will decide on further course of action," he said.

Protests were on by several organisations and farmers  across districts of North Karnataka demanding implementation  of Kalasa-Banduri project for about a year now.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project, which will utilise 7.56 tmcft of water from the inter-state Mahadayi  River, is being undertaken by Karnataka to improve drinking  water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the  districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

It involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi River, to divert 7.56 tmc to  Malaprabha river which supplies drinking water needs of the  twin cities.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had led an all-party  delegation to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention for  out-of-court settlement of the issue.

Earlier, Goa government had rejected Karnataka's attempt for out-of court settlement of the dispute stating that the people of the state felt it was more prudent to settle the dispute through the Tribunal.

Rural Development Minister H K Patil said today's interim order has disappointed Karnataka. He said "we will continue our legal and political struggle to get justice to the state, we will do all that is possible being united."

The minister also said Karnataka's contribution to  Mahadayi is 45 tmc out of 200 tmc and the state would have to get its share of water and wondered whether central government is showing "carelessness" on this issue.