BENGALURU: Goa has dashed Karnataka’s hopes of finding a negotiated settlement for the Mahadayi dispute. The neighbouring state has rejected Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s offer for talks with the Chief Ministers of Goa and Maharashtra.
Siddaramaiah had written to his Goa and Maharashtra counterparts Manohar Parrikar and Devendra Phadnavis last week inviting them for talks at a place and date of their convenience for talks to find a negotiated settlement for the inter-state water dispute. The Maharashtra Chief Minister had even expressed his readiness for talks.
The gesture from Siddaramaiah came in accordance with the suggestion of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal headed by Justice J M Panchal for the three states to try for a negotiated settlement ‘in the spirit of brotherhood in the federal system’.Conveying Goa’s decision, its Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar has in a letter said, “There will be no compromise or out-of-court settlement on Mahadayi case with Karnataka.” He has accused Karnataka of “playing dirty tricks from behind on the one side while Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the other hand is asking for an out-of-court settlement for the dispute.”
“Karnataka’s weakness has been well exposed in the Tribunal and our legal team led by Atmaram Nadkarni is doing a wonderful job,” Palyekar has said in his letter.
With Goa rejecting the offer for talks, the agitation for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project in northern Karnataka is expected to intensify and the legal battle between the three states is set to continue before the Tribunal.
Dispute that has ignited passions
Mahadayi river originates in Karnataka and flows through Maharashtra and Goa into the Arabian sea. Karnataka plans to utilise 7.56 tmcft of water from Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of Mahadayi to meet drinking water scarcity in northern Karnataka, including Belagavi, Gadag, Hubli and Dharwad. Karnataka proposes to divert 7.56tmcft to Malaprabha river basin through the proposed Kalasa Banduri Nala project, which is being opposed by Goa. People of northern Karnataka have been agitating for speedy implementation of the project.
Inflow into Kabini up, no improvement in KRS level
Mysuru: Rain in Wayanad, Kerala, has increased the inflow into Kabini reservoir taking its water level to 2,266ft as against a maximum of 2,284ft. Though the inflow reduced to less than 3,000 cusecs in the last 10 days due to scanty rain in catchment areas, it increased to 5,500 cusecs on Tuesday. However, water levels at KRS reservoir continues to be worrisome. There is negligible inflow into Cauvery, Hemavathi and Laxman Threeta rivers compared to last year.