BELGAUM: GOA on Monday filed a “disobedience” petition against Karnataka with the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal accusing it of violating the injunction given by the tribunal.Even as Karnataka issued clarifications that it did not violate any directives of the Supreme Court or the tribunal after the latter passed orders to halt any diversion of water from Mahadayi to Karnataka, Goa alleged it violated the pre-award directives. Besides contending that Karnataka diverted water illegally from Mahadayi to Malaprabha before the final award was pronounced by the tribunal, Goa had filed a contempt petition against Karnataka last year.
However, Goa is in a dilemma now as to what measure needs to be initiated in the wake of the tribunal’s recent verdict in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is in the US for treatment. According to sources, Goa feels Karnataka also diverted water from the Mahadayi on the day of the tribunal pronouncing its final verdict (August 14). Hence, it has filed the disobedience plea.
With Parikkar away , Goa is unable to take a call on whether to challenge the tribunal’s verdict to award 13.42 tmcft of water to Karnataka under the Mahadayi project. Even as the Goan legal team, according to sources, has insisted the Goa government to move the court challenging the order, the government is reluctant to do so as it fears the decision may backfire. On the other hand, Karnataka has decided to file a petition before the Supreme Court demanding more share of Mahadayi water, contending that it was awarded a mere 13.42 tmcft as against 36.55 tmcft which it had demanded.
Sources said even the Water Resources Department of Goa is in a dilemma over whether to challenge the tribunal’s decision or not, as it has already termed the tribunal’s final verdict as a ‘major victory’ for Goa.
Even as the Opposition Congress in Goa and Mahadayi Bachao Andolan called the verdict as the one against the larger interests of the state, Goan legal team, which took up the case in the tribunal, and the Goa government called the verdict a victory.
Sources said Water Resources Minister of Goa Vinod Paliencar was in favour of filing the ‘disobedience petition’, but was not firm in admitting whether his government would challenge the award in the apex court.Meanwhile, sources said Goa is exerting pressure on the Centre for immediate formation of Mahadayi Water Management Authority as directed by the tribunal in its August 14 final order.