Farmers call off protest over Mahadayi row

Farmers' leader Veeresh Sobaradmath said they have submitted their petition to Raj Bhavan officials as the governor did not meet them. Photo/Twitter

Farmers from the Mahadayi river basin, protesting in the city for the last couple of days demanding that the BJP government at both the Centre and State implement the tribunal verdict by issuing a gazette notification, called off their protest on Saturday. The farmers said they will approach the court if the issue is not resolved at the earliest.

The protesting farmers had sought Governor Vajubhai Vala's intervention and wanted to meet him.

Farmers' leader Veeresh Sobaradmath said they have submitted their petition to Raj Bhavan officials as the governor did not meet them.

"Today we have withdrawn the protest not because Deputy Chief Minister (Govind Karjol) came and met us, we had not asked him to come. We had not asked any political party representatives to come and support," he told reporters here.

Accusing all the three political parties -- Congress, BJP and JD(S) -- of reaping the political benefit on the Mahadayi issue, Sobaradmath said, they should be "ashamed."

"We had come here to meet the Governor. We had not set any deadline, we respect the position of the governor. Though you (governor) personally did not take our petition, you have taken it through your officials,so we are going back.

"Response to our petition at the earliest, if it does not happen, we will file a writ petition before the High Court," he added.

Farmers had, on Friday, held demonstrations braving the inclement weather and showers in the city.

A group of women farmers on Saturday after submitting their petition to officials at the gate of the Raj Bhavan got emotional on not being able to meet the governor personally.

Earlier on Saturday Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol met the protesting farmers and tried to convince them to end the protest.

Speaking to reporters, Karjol said the government has made a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the gazette notification. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also has requested his Maharashtra and Goa counterparts for their cooperation.

Citing assembly elections in Maharashtra, he said, "We will have to wait for a few days, and our government will find a resolution to the issue."

The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal gave its order last year after which both the States (Karnataka and Goa) filed Special Leave Petitions in the Supreme Court.

The tribunal, hearing the dispute among three riparian states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra over sharing of the river water, in August last year allotted 13.42 TMC (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka, while Goa and Maharashtra will be allowed to use 24 TMC and 1.33 TMC of water respectively.

Earlier, Union Ministers representing Karnataka have cited legalities, pointing at riparian states seeking clarifications from the tribunal on its final judgment and they also going to the Supreme Court against it, as the reason for the delay in the Centre notifying the tribunal's verdict. 

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