'Karnataka diverting Mahadayi water' says Goa govt.

'Karnataka diverting Mahadayi water' says Goa govt.

"Two teams of Water Resources Departmentof Goa had visited the site of the Kalsa (a river feeding water to Mahadayi) diversion after reading newspaper reports in this regard," the minister said. DH file photo.

The Goa government today said that Karnataka has been "diverting" water of the Mahadayi river from the Kalsa basin to the Malaprabha basin by constructing conduits.

Goa Water Resources Department Minister Vinod Palyekar told the Legislative Assembly that this act of the Karnataka government amounted to violation of the order of the Water Dispute Tribunal (WDT) and that the issue has been taken up "very seriously".

"Two teams of Water Resources Department of Goa had visited the site of the Kalsa (a river feeding water to Mahadayi) diversion after reading newspaper reports in this regard," the minister said.

He was responding to the Calling Attention motion moved by Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco about diversion of the Mahadayi river water by the Karnataka government which has impacted the flow of water downstream.

"It is seen that waters from the part of the catchment of the (Kalsa) nullah is getting diverted through conduits. The water was flowing through two of three conduits. This shows that waters from part of the Kalsa basin is diverted to the Malaprabha basin," Palyekar said.

He said an application will be submitted before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

Palyekar said Union Ministry of Water Resources had given an in-principle clearance to divert 7.56 TMC of water from Kalsa-Bandur project to Hubli-Dharwad in Karnataka for drinking purposes on April 30, 2002.

"However, this was kept in abeyance by the Government of India when an all-party delegation, led by the then Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar, met the then prime minister in September 2002," he said.

The minister said the state government had approached the Water Resources ministry on July 9, 2002 for setting up a tribunal to adjudicate the disputes between Goa and Karnataka.

"On October 2, 2006, Karnataka unilaterally started the work on Kalsa-Bandur nullah project and Goa was left with no option but to file a suit in the Supreme Court. On the directives of the apex court, the Central government notified Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal in 2010-11," Palyekar said.

He said the tribunal had ordered Karnataka not to divert any water from the Kalsa Bandura to Malaprabha until the award was declared.

"Further, Goa brought to the notice of the tribunal that water from part of the catchment of Kalsa nullah gets automatically diverted through the conduits constructed by Karnataka," the minister said.

Goa and neighbouring Karnataka have been at loggerheads over sharing of the water of Mahadayi river.

The river (called Mandovi in Goa) originates in Karnataka and flows to Goa and Maharashtra. The three states are locked in a protracted dispute over sharing its water.

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