SC allows Karnataka's plea for notifying Mahadayi award

SC allows Karnataka's plea for notifying Mahadayi award, spurs hope for completion of drinking water project

Karnataka has sought a direction for notification of the award passed on August 14, 2018. PTI file photo

In a major relief for Karnataka, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed its plea for implementing the final award of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal, triggering hope for completion of the drinking water project for the parched areas of Hubballi-Dharwad and Belagavi region.

Karnataka has sought a direction for notification of the award passed on August 14, 2018. Other states, Maharashtra and Goa did not oppose the plea.

A bench presided over by Justice D Y Chandrachud allowed the application filed by the Karnataka government, after hearing the counsel from the three states. Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi and senior advocates Shyam Divan and Mohan Katarki and advocates Nishanth Patil and V N Raghupathy represented Karnataka.

The top court, however, put the special leave petitions filed by all three states Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa against the award, for consideration in July. The publication of the award would be subject to the final outcome of the pending petitions, it said.

“The consent order of the SC directing publication of the tribunal's award is an important step in the long struggle of Karnataka for fair share in Mahadayi river. After the publication and formation of the board, the state government can take necessary steps for construction of the projects,” Karnataka government sources said.

The tribunal has allocated Karnataka 13.42 tmcft, Goa 24 tmcft and Maharashtra 1.3 tmcft in its final decision.

The Karnataka government had challenged validity of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal's decision, that limited the allocation of water to 5.40 tmcft to the state and allowed surplus water to flow into the sea.

The tribunal's decision resulted in the surplus of 147.935 tmcft of water going into the sea unallocated to any riparian state resulted in grave miscarriage of justice to Karnataka and all other party states, it had contended.

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