BELAGAVI (KARNATAKA): In what is seen as a huge setback for Goa, the Supreme Court on Monday clarified that the interim order dated April 17, 2014, with regard to the Mahadayi row continues to be in operation.
The application filed by the Goa government to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with the Kalsa-Banduri project did not help the state in stopping Karnataka from launching works on the Mahadayi project.
As per the April 17, 2014, interim order of the apex court, Karnataka is allowed to divert 1.72 TMC water into Malaprabha from Goa's Mahadayi river through Kalasa Nala after getting all the needed permissions from the Central agencies pertaining to environment and wildlife.
It has become clear that Karnataka government will now have no other obstacles in getting Mahadayi water from Goa state diverted through Kalasa Nala and pump it into the Malaprabha river. In a letter written to Home Minister Basavaarj Bommai late last year, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar also had made it clear that "Karnataka can start work on Kalasa-Banduri project after wildlife and environment permissions."
However, under pressure from Opposition leaders in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant decided in vain to move the Supreme Court to restrain Karnataka from launching the Mahadayi project last week. In page-10 of the gazette notification of the Mahadayi tribunal award, it is clearly mentioned that Karnataka will have to obtain permissions from different government agencies before diverting water under Kalasa-Banduri project.
Reacting to today's SC verdict, noted activist Ashok Chandargi said that the Goa government should now stop putting obstacles in the way of Karnataka. He said the stakeholders-- Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra-- must join hands to come up with an out-of-court solution to the dispute.
While suggesting the state government to set aside funds for Mahadayi project in the coming budget, Chandargi appealed to the Union Ministers hailing from Karnataka to impress upon the Centre to obtain all permissions needed to get the work on Kalasa-Banduri project started.
With the fresh move of the apex court on Mahadayi tangle, Karnataka will now be able to divert the entire share of 13.42 TMC water from Mahadayi which has been allotted to it by the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) in its final award on August 14, 2018, opine legal experts.