Karnataka to oppose Goa's plea to extend Mahadayi Tribunal term

Karnataka to oppose Goa's plea to extend Mahadayi Tribunal term

Karnataka to oppose Goa's plea to extend Mahadayi Tribunal term

Karnataka will oppose Goa's plea for an extension of the term of Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Thursday.

The decision was announced after Siddaramaiah held a discussion with BJP leaders Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa - leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, respectively - and JD(S) leader Konareddy.

The Tribunal was slated to commence final hearing on the dispute on February 6, but Siddaramaiah said no arguments took place because Goa has sought an extension of the Tribunal's term.

"An extension will only delay the matter further, and Karnataka has serious need for drinking water. The government and the Opposition are on the same page on the stand that the Tribunal's term should not be extended," Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Former attorney general of India Ashok Desai and senior advocate Shyam Divan will represent the state in the Tribunal, Siddaramaiah said.

The Tribunal was set up in November 2010, and it came into effect in November 2013. "As per law, the Tribunal has three years to submit its report and its term can be extended by two years. The Tribunal got a 2-year extension in 2016, and its final report is due by August 20, 2018," Siddaramaiah said.

The government has demanded that it should be allowed to utilise 7.56 TMC of Mahadayi river water to meet the drinking water needs of the north Karnataka region.

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