BELAGAVI: Two weeks after Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s (MWDT) verdict to award 13.42 tmcft of water to Karnataka, the state government has decided to appeal against the tribunal’s decision to give ‘ownership’ of all the projects and schemes to be implemented under the Mahadayi project to Mahadayi Water Management Authority (MWMA). Soon, the state government also will approach the Supreme Court, challenging the tribunal’s final verdict and demanding bigger share of water.
The state government, which is gearing up to invest thousands of crores into the Kalasa-Banduri and other hydel power schemes under the Mahadayi project, is in a dilemma over the logic applied by the tribunal to have MWMA own all the projects and schemes. The state’s legal team questioned as to how could an authority own the projects and schemes which are taken up, constructed or built by the state governments of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa under Mahadayi project.
“Logically, all the projects implemented by the respective stakeholders should be maintained by themselves. How will the state governments be able to maintain and upgrade the projects when the ownership is in the hands of the authority is a million dollar question,’’ the legal team members added.
It would have been logical if the tribunal wanted the authority to keep a strict tab on all the works related to Mahadayi project. But in this case, the tribunal recommended the Centre to accord ownership to the authority. “If the authority works like a monitoring agency or supervise works like a policeman, it would have been acceptable. There’s no clarity on how the projects will be maintained and taken care of by the authority once they are implemented,’’ the legal team said.
State govt confident of getting bigger share
The counsels of Karnataka, taking up the Mahadayi case in the tribunal, have expressed confidence that their stake for more share of Mahadayi water to the state will be accepted by the Supreme Court. “A huge quantity of water is available in the Mahadayi basin which can be diverted to Karnataka. We have been allocated merely 13.42 tmcft against our demand of 36.55 tmcft. The state government wants some share of the huge mount of water that flows into the sea from Mahadayi. We feel that diversion of some more water from Mahadayi will not cause any damage or loss to anybody. We have a strong ground to appeal in this connection,’’ said a member of the state’s legal team.