SC agrees to hear pleas of states in Mahadayi dispute
The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear challenges filed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa to the award granted by the Mahadayi Interstate Water Disputes Tribunal. It also agreed with Karnataka’s contention that the award needs to be notified first.
Karnataka had sought the notification to proceed with the diversion of water even as Goa opposed it. In view of the matters pending before the Supreme Court, the Centre had decided to keep on hold the notification.
Goa’s advocate general, Devidas Pangam, said the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the matter in July over three days. “When the matter came up for hearing, there was a technical issue in the sense that, if the tribunal’s verdict is not notified, then how can it be challenged. So for this limited reason, it will be notified. In any case, the tribunal’s verdict will be subject to the outcome of the petition.”
The tribunal in August 2018 awarded Karnataka 13.42 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) of water. Goa had opposed any diversion from the River Mahadayi saying it would sound the death knell for the lower riparian state.
All three states have challenged the tribunal’s decision before the Supreme Court.
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant tweeted that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the matter in July.
The decision caused an uproar in Goa. “Reliably known that Karnataka prayed to go-ahead for the gazette notification of Mhadei Tribunal Order. Goa didn’t object! And played into the hands of Karnataka which can now officially go ahead with the Kalasa Banduri [drinking water] project ,” Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai tweeted.
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