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Mahadayi river dispute: Goa sets up 4-member panel to monitor water diversion

The committee shall instantly report if any construction activity is envisaged or started by Karnataka or Maharashtra in the Mahadayi basin.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2018 14:46 IST
Press Trust of India, Panaji
Karnataka,Goa,Mahadayi river
A deserted Majestic bus terminal on Thursday after a state-wide bandh was called in Karnataka, demading the PM’s intervention. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

The Goa government has set up a committee to monitor any activity in Maharashtra or Karnataka to divert the Mahadayi river water amidst a growing dispute over resource sharing between the two states.

The committee will comprise four officers from the state water resources department.

“As directed by the government, a team of engineers is hereby constituted to constantly (keep) watch over and monitor periodically any work, if carried out on the Mhadei (Mahadayi) river or its tributaries in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka,” said the Goa water resources department’s chief engineer ST Nadkarni who issued the order on Tuesday.

The official has instructed that the committee shall instantly report if any construction activity is envisaged or started by Karnataka or Maharashtra in the Mahadayi basin.

“A periodical report every fortnight should be submitted to the government. The team shall visit the site at least two times a week,” read the order.

The riparian states of the Mahadayi (known as Mandovi in Goa), have been locked in a bitter battle over the sharing of the water of the river, which originates in Belagavi in Karnataka.

The matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

On Thursday, several pro-Kannada outfits called for the statewide dawn-to-dusk bandh in Karnataka,demanding the Prime Minister’s intervention.

Goa’s water resources minister Vinod Palyekar recently said the state government will file a contempt petition next month before the Supreme Court and the tribunal against Karnataka for allegedly resuming work on a canal at Kankumbi “in violation” of the apex court order.

Last year, the SC had ordered Karnataka to stop the work on the construction of the canal, which was aimed at diverting water from the Mahadayi tributary.

Goa had claimed that it has photographic evidence to support its claim that the work has begun.

However, Karnataka rejected the claim saying there was no such activity.

The Goa government last week told the tribunal that the Mahadayi river water demand by neighbouring Karnataka is actually for irrigating its sugarcane crop areas.

The tribunal is expected to hear the final arguments in the matter next month.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier said his state could share the river water with Karnataka for drinking purposes and expressed his willingness for bilateral talks.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 14:46 IST