The state, which has locked horns with Goa on sharing of Mahadayi water, is likely to file a petition before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT), seeking interim relief.
According to official sources, the state government is expected to file an affidavit before the Tribunal seeking an interim relief of about 26 tmc ft water to meet the drinking water crisis of a few northern districts, including Gadag, Belgaum, Bagalkot and Dharwad.
One of the top officials from the state’s legal team on condition of anonymity told Express that Karnataka is going to seek an interim report from the Tribunal and may get 26 tmc ft of water.
He cited an example of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which had ordered Karnataka, the upper riparian state, to release about 205 tmc ft water on a monthly basis. This order was followed till the final order or allocation of water was made by the tribunal. “We have got expertise in fighting such cases,” the official said.
According to the official, the total quantum of water which would be generated annually in the Mahadayi basin was about 200 tmc ft. The entire portion is going into the drain to reach Arabian sea. “There should not be any problem in drawing water as meeting the requirement of drinking water should get precedence among other priorities,” said the official.
According to him, the state government has plans to construct a barrage across the Kalasa-banduri Nala, a tributary of the Mahadayi.
“The Goa government opposing the project had demanded for setting up a tribunal. Its gesture seems to have come as a blessing in disguise to us and the Tribunal can issue an interim order in which we may at least get 26 tmc ft of water,” he said.
He said the Goa government had opposed Kalasa-banduri drinking water project and objected to Karnataka’s attempt to draw about 7.5 tmc ft.
“Now, we stand better chance to get more quantum of water than we initially wanted to utilise,” he said.
The state Government had recently held an all-party meeting to arrive a consensus on the issue and reportedly decided to approach the Tribunal asking for interim report. Recently, the 13-member tribunal team, headed by the former Supreme Court judge J M Panchal had toured the Mayadayi basin area and met political party leaders.