Early notification of Mahadayi Tribunal order unlikely

Early notification of Mahadayi Tribunal order unlikely

Mahadayi protest. DH photo.

Despite Karnataka’s plea to the Centre for early notification of Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal final award, the Union Ministry of Water Resources is unlikely to do so as Goa has filed a petition seeking certain clarifications.

“Since Goa has filed a petition before the Tribunal seeking certain clarifications, the Water Resources Ministry will not notify the award. The ministry can only notify the final award if party states do not file petitions before the tribunal,” an official from the Union Ministry of Water Resources told DH.

“As the tribunal is seized of the matter related to Goa petition, notifying the final order would not be correct,” said the official.

When Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy met Union Road Transport and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari to request him to expedite the notification last week, the minister cited Goa’s petition before the tribunal as the main hurdle to meet the state’s demand.

“Delaying the notification means, Karnataka can’t implement the project immediately. As per the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, the tribunal award comes into force once the Water Resources Ministry notifies it. So Karnataka’s wait for the project will prolong,” said an official from Karnataka government.

The chief minister, who is facing criticism of ignoring North Karnataka, earlier had said that he wanted to start the Mahadayi project at the earliest and urged the Centre to notify the award immediately. 

The Mahadayi project, involves diversion of water from Mahadayi water to meet water needs of parts of Belagavi, Hubballi, Dharwad and surrounding parched areas.

Goa, in its application before the tribunal, has sought clarifications on several issues including how to handle the issue of non-utilisation of allocated water by party states; if a state failed to utilise its allocated share this year whether it can be carried forward to next year or not.